Nicola Shaver, managing director, innovation and knowledge, at the law firm Paul Hastings, was recently named 2020 Innovative Leader of the Year in the International Legal Technology Association’s Distinguished Peer Awards. Not only that, but the law firm where she oversees innovation initiatives was named Innovator of the Year.

While a major honor for anyone in the field of law firm innovation, it is even more remarkable given that until just seven years ago, Shaver was a lawyer practicing media law in Australia with no connection to the field of law firm innovation. When she moved to Toronto for family reasons in 2014, she could find no work in her legal speciality, so took a job at Cassels Brock & Blackwell leading the firm’s innovation initiatives. She was immediately hooked.

After a stint at another Toronto firm, Stikeman Elliott, as director of knowledge management, she moved to Paul Hastings in New York in 2018, where she describes herself as “Dedicated to future-proofing law firms and accelerating the pace of positive change in the legal industry.” She is also founder of Legal Innovation and Design, a global membership group for anyone driving innovation initiatives in the commercial legal space, and publisher of the blog Tower of Babel.

In a year that has presented so many challenges for law firms, Shaver joins LawNext to discuss the innovation initiatives that helped her and her firm earn these awards. She also shares her career journey, her thoughts on innovation, and her perspectives on the pandemic’s impact on the legal profession.

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal…

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division. At LexBlog, he oversees LexBlog.com, the global legal news and commentary network.