Sean Christy (J.D. ’06)
How do you primarily use data analytics in your work?
In my practice, the most predominant use of legal analytics is in workflow automation, document analysis and document preparation — whether it is something as simple as generating contracts through an automated workflow completed by the client or something more complicated like using software to review a markup and prepare a responsive draft based upon pre-defined parameters.
How has the use of technology in the legal field changed since you’ve been practicing law?
I came into practice at a time when it was a differentiator to be proficient with technology; most lawyers were not skilled with computers. Now, technological proficiency is a given, and those who are truly excelling are embracing innovation.
How does your firm innovate?
Like all businesses, our business runs on people, process and technology. It just so happens that the focus of my practice is helping clients better align people, process and technology to drive efficiencies and productivity in a risk-mitigated way. We leverage that competency internally within Bryan Cave to take advantage of technology tools, continual process study and redesign to deliver better, more cost-effective solutions for our clients.
Technology tools like document and workflow automation and AI-driven document analytics have become part of our day-to-day, and we are now focusing on ways to innovate not only vertically with specific clients or client projects, but also horizontally across repeated/repeatable processes in individual practices and competencies. The real art is making innovation and continuous improvement an organic part of service delivery.
What are the benefits and challenges of using AI-based technology in the legal field?
One primary benefit is to take the human equation out of service delivery tasks that do not require highly skilled thought and the benefit of subjective experience, freeing up the lawyer to focus on those considerations. That benefit also presents one of the primary challenges — automating tasks requiring less subjective experience will force all of us (including law firms and institutions of legal education) to rethink how we train young lawyers so that they gain the experience needed to deliver services at the top of the pyramid that are not ripe for automation and machine learning.
Were there any Georgia State Law classes that were particularly helpful in what you do now?
As a transactional attorney who deals in large-scale technology and other strategic services contracts, I received a foundation in contract law at Georgia State that has proven invaluable.
However, the real differentiator I see in myself and in others that we recruit and hire from Georgia State is the practical skillset that graduates seem to possess in higher proportion relative to their peer group. Georgia State produces lawyers who know how to communicate and engage with clients in a meaningful way early on in their careers.
A partner at Bryan Cave, Sean Christy (J.D. ’06) is a business and legal adviser to companies in the following areas: complex business process outsourcing and information technology outsourcing transactions; strategic IT products and services; software licensing, maintenance and development agreements, including software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing arrangements; internet-related and other technology-based service agreements.