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Teaching Legal Tech and Innovation

  • anna-ronkainen
  • By Anna Ronkainen
Anna Ronkainen Begins Teaching First Program In A Northern European Law School On Legal Technology and Innovation

Anna Ronkainen, Chief Scientist at TrademarkNow®, a Helsinki-based legal technology startup, today will begin teaching a new course on legal technology and innovation at the University of Turku in Finland, the second biggest and second oldest law school in Finland. The course is offered in connection with the Master's Degree Program in Law and Information Society at the University. Ronkainen is the first to teach legal tech and innovation at a Northern European law school.

Ronkainenâ's weekly lectures will examine and illustrate the wide-ranging impact of technology on the practice of law, and will offer bold predictions on how the legal field and lawyers will change in the future. The course will cover artificial intelligence and law, legal technologies such as information retrieval, electronic discovery, knowledge management, online dispute resolution and big data, to name a few. In addition, Ronkainen will discuss with students the impact of legal technology on the legal profession, including new business models for legal services.

Anna Ronkainen, a computational legal theory scholar with advanced study in law, linguistics, and computer science and fluency in more than half a dozen languages, drives the technology development at TrademarkNow as the company's Chief Scientist. Ronkainen's academic research into artificial intelligence and language (research conducted for 10 years before joining the TrademarkNow team) has helped strengthen and embolden TrademarkNow's product development. After only two years on the market, TrademarkNow's platform is being used by many well-known global brands including Rovio, Roche, Carlsberg, and many others.

Change is typically greeted with plaudits as well as skepticism. Lawyers and global law firms who have been offering legal services for many years have often viewed the potential impact of technology with apprehension,” Ronkainen said. “I plan to explore how technology, in many different areas, will actually make lawyers' day-to-day work easier, freeing them to focus on crafting and providing strategic legal counsel instead of spending time on work that is more administrative. Technology is changing the legal field globally in exciting and fast-changing ways. I look forward to teaching University of Turku students about these changes and discussing the impact of legal technology on their future in law.”

"The University of Turku has always placed importance on collaboration with society and preparing its students for the world that awaits them upon their graduation" said Jukka Mahonen, Dean of Faculty of Law at the University of Turku. The legal landscape has neverbeen in a more disruptive, yet exciting state as it is in right now. The impact of technology is significant, and I am delighted to have Ms. Ronkainen leading that discussion with our students through her course. Students will leave with an informed and expanded view of the opportunities and challenges that await them in the legal field.

Since the company's founding in 2012, TrademarkNow has fulfilled an unmet need in the trademark management space felt by in-house enterprise legal teams, law firms and branding agencies around the world. TrademarkNow's customer growth increased 167 percent in 2014, and new clients signed in 2014 included Carlsberg Group and Design Bridge, who joined the strong base of existing TrademarkNow clients, who include gaming giant Rovio and top ten pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-LaRoche AG.


About The Faculty of Law at the University of Turku

The Faculty of Law at the University of Turku is a modern research and education community. Generating new knowledge through research is the faculty's top priority. Legal research is conducted in all legal fields, and researchers participate in on-going legal and societal discussion in Finland and internationally. The Faculty's research-driven programmes cover all central branches of law and qualify the student for a judicial career. The Faculty of Law is a respected and sought-after place to study. Each year approximately 300 Bachelors, Masters and Doctors of Law graduate from the Faculty. The Master's Degree Programme in Law and Information Society offers a unique combination of international and European intellectual property, constitutional and communications law, and interdisciplinary perspectives. Such a broader understanding of the legal phenomena of the information society is inevitable for practicing lawyers in demanding positions and legal scholars alike.


by Anna Ronkainen.