LAW STUDENTS – THINK SMART ! Think Legal Knowledge Engineering – A top tip by Legaleaglemhm

Legal Knowledge Engineering

As you find yourselves swamped in the every day detail of legal study from reading cases, discussing statute and case law at University to hunting for a traineeship it is difficult to have vision way infront of you to the career that lies ahead .I want to give you a piece of advice which I hope gives you an advantage.


What you will not find (YET) during your time at University is any mention of Legal Knowledge engineering. What is it ?


Many Law graduates struggle to find a traineeship on completion of their legal studies and this adds even more pressure to final year and diploma students.


A new and innovative legal role is emerging within the legal profession.


The Legal Knowledge Engineer has emerged as a new viable option for Law graduates around the world. The ‘switched on’ law students of 2014 need to be watching as the role develops over the next few years.


My name is Michelle Hynes LL.B (Hons) DipLP and I am Legal Process Engineer at Forward thinking Law firm Inksters .


I want to leave you with three points to think about.


  1. The future of Law using technology
  2. The competing legal service providers of the future
  3. The Data we gather every day in the practice of Law.


Legal Knowledge Engineering is new. It is unchartered teratory, it is exciting.

The next generation of lawyers can influence how it is shapes, measured, performed and evaluated.

A legal Knowledge engineer is a Lawyer ( of a new kind). There will be many variations from Legal Architect, Legal Process Engineer, Legal Project Manager.


Thinks Smart, Think ahead, Think Legal Knowledge Engineering.


Follow me on twitter @legaleaglemhm



The 3 drivers of legal landscaping but what are they?

According to Prof Richard Susskind OBE there are 3 drivers of legal change which give rise to new roles within the legal profession.

1. Increased cost pressures placed upon law firms

2. Liberalisation and the emergence of Non-law firms providing legal services

3. The management of the effective use of technology in Law


These three weather conditions ( if you like the analogy of the legal profession encountering a storm of great magnitude) give rise to a new breed of legal professionals with deep and profound legal skills that bring a great value to their firm .

Susskind explains on US TV Bloomberg that the emerging roles of Legal Knowledge (Process) engineer, Legal Project manager and Legal Risk Manager will become keys roles in Law firms of the future. Perhaps these job titles will be tailored and tweaked to fit the individual firms my role is Legal Process Engineer at @Inksters. The fact remains that the stereo typical Rumpole of the Bailey lawyer is a thing of the past. A new identity of what makes a lawyer is being forged.

You can watch Susskind’s interview here


Michelle Hynes LL.B (Hons) DipLP

Lawyer & Legal Process Engineer

Pioneer and Legaleagle


A New Breed of Lawyer is Born – Right Here In SCOTLAND @Inksters

Is the Scottish Legal Profession responding to market changes? Yes It is !

A new journey begins for me today as I take up my appointment with one of Scotland’s Leading Law firms as a new type of Lawyer.

Over the last 5 years we have seen many changes in the Legal profession and fears of the ‘end of the solicitor ‘due to the increase of high street legal providers challenges even the sole practitioner. Law Students shake as they leave Law School not knowing if they will even find a traineeship or job at the end of it. The changes in Billing , process and practice leave partners, associates and the profession as a whole in a precarious position.

In an innovative and pioneering step Brian Inkster has embraced head on.

My appointment as the new Legal Process Engineer at @Inksters is in itself unique in Scotland.

It is a new role within the Legal Profession and I am very honoured to have been appointed and bestowed with this challenge.

Brian Inkster said “Inksters have always been at the cutting edge of legal innovation. Having a dedicated Legal Process Engineer will see us systematizing all of our processes and in turn assisting efficiency, business growth and profitability. Michelle is ideal for this task and I am delighted that she is joining our growing legal team in Glasgow.”

Inksters have been expanding rapidly over the past year or so with a new larger Glasgow HQ and offices in Wick and Portree to add to their Inverness office.

You can follow me on twitter @legaleaglemhm

follow our firm @inksters

Michelle Hynes LL.B(Hons) DipLP

Legal Process Engineer


Writs, Protocols, Wills and Irn Bru -The Stuff Lawyers are made of:

Writs, Protocols, Wills and Irn Bru -The Stuff Lawyers are made of:
Diary of a Diploma Student – Week 4

I cannot believe that the first month has passed already. This has been another busy week at the University of Glasgow Diploma although many of the students do indeed look a little less confused now.

The week kicked off with a Civil Litigation assignment to be handed in on Monday and in class we work our way through the initial stages of drafting a Writ, lodging defences and answers. What seemed like a different language 4 weeks ago now starts to make a little sense.
We have been given a Personal Injury exercise to work though and I have adopted the position as solicitor for the Defender. Its actually fun to see the stages of litigation come to life albeit in a slow and simplified way. My tutor Anne Bennie is excellent and explains everything really well. I now know all about pre-action protocols.

Our Private client course required us to prepare two mirror image wills and I found myself at University until eleven o’clock one night happily drafting my wills and sipping an ice cold glass of Irn Bru (Scotland’s national drink other than whisky)
Another big part of the Diploma this year is role play and undertaking clients meetings with an observer to judge. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was delighted to have good reviews.

The weather is turning here in Glasgow and the dark nights are drawing in. Autumn leaves a carpet of orange and red leaves around the grounds of the University and the Tower peers above the campus like a watchful ‘Big Brother’

It sure is good to be back.

Our study area is now available within the Alexander Stone Building and we now have two new administrators on board so hopefully the course administration will run even more efficiently.

Given that the course is new it has been a good start to our professional life in Law.
Follow my journey
Why not subscribe to my blog to receive your weekly update.
Michelle Hynes-McIlroy LLB ( Hons )

Top Legal Mentors Help Glasgow Diploma Students Polish their X Factor

Top Legal Mentors Help Glasgow Diploma Students Polish their X Factor

Week 3 commencing the 4th of October 2010 saw all of us Diploma students walking around campus loaded up with huge folders of materials and thinking ‘Gosh’ how on earth will we fit in all this work with our jobs?

Many of us students have jobs in Law firms and some have jobs in other sectors mainly because we 1.Value our traineeships that we have secured or 2.We have to fund the course and /or 3.We have to eat.4. For some of us (and I mean me) we have to support our families and oh boy children are expensive. Thankfully having great parents and a good support network I can rest assured that my little ones have all they need.

Time management is crucial and The Big Dilemma is: Which one takes priority, the course or work?

Personally as I am funding my Diploma myself I have to earn money to pay for it which means that I have to be in the office as much as possible, but if I am paying for a course in the sum of £5700 I need to dedicate as much focus on it as possible. I start my traineeships as soon as I finish the course so I need to pass.

I have decided that I will have to focus on it all and let ‘that that doesn’t matter truly slide’(quote from Fight Club 1999)

Bang goes the housework then.

As the Diploma at Glasgow is brand new there is also emerging a brand new type of study and that is the study of ‘networking’

What many new lawyers find is that once they qualify is that it is daunting to start networking and building your own identity.

Many of the students are fresh faced and don’t have many contacts. The Diploma team have devised a brilliant scheme inviting 40 of Scotland legal professionals to become our mentors.

They are known as the Network40 and includes many Sheriffs’ and legal professionals from private practice and Public bodies in all areas of Scottish legal practice.

Eileen Paterson, Depute Director of Professional Legal Practice said “We believe that the ‘Glasgow Legal 40’ initiative will be of enormous benefit to our Diploma in Legal Practice students and ease the transition from university to practice. We are extremely grateful to our alumni who have been enthusiastic in their support of this initiative.”

Douglas Mill, Director of Professional Legal Practice added “We are fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise and goodwill of the members of the group who have been so enthusiastic in their support. We believe that this will further develop the School of Law’s links with the profession.”

Diploma students at Glasgow have the fantastic opportunity to meet with them in a networking environment, chat, introduce themselves and ask for mentoring tips. There was also a brilliant spread of soup and sandwiches and of course wine so as you can imagine – I was there.

I attended two events last week and was delighted to spend time taking to Sheriff Rita Rae and Sheriff Carole Cunningham about their experiences at the Bar and I spent some time discussing options with Austin Lafferty and other solicitors’ and Advocates who were all very keen to pass on tips and guidance to us new lawyers.

Both events were well attended and I think all of us appreciated the Network40 giving up their time to come and help us.

In an economic market such as this and the lack of traineeships out there and the fierce competition for each one, law students need that extra bit of help to polish their skills and allow us to enter the profession in a highly competitive way.

If Law firms want to find their next shining star then Glasgow Diploma in Legal Practice Graduates are taking it up a notch: we are all in training for the Legal X factor.

Course work too is starting to pick up with a Conveyancing assignment due in and preparation for all of our tutorials gaining momentum. I actually really enjoyed Conveyancing and to my surprise found the assignment to be a joy but then I am a legal geek.

To finish off the week on a high I was honoured and delighted to be invited by the School of Law to represent Glasgow University in the Annual Sheriff’s Moot this year in a mooting competition which will be held in Glasgow’ Sheriff court on the 26th of October 2010.
It is an honour to represent MY University and I hope that my mooting partner Matthew Lennon and I can bring that trophy back home to Glasgow.

By the end of the week I don’t mind telling you that I was tired and excited at the same time.
I rounded off the week by watching the X Factor on TV and thought of all the ‘stars’ on the Diploma in Legal Practice at Glasgow and wondered where their careers would take them.

Thankfully we have Douglas Mill and Eileen Paterson and not Louis and Simon Cowell looking after us.

Follow my journey to the end. See you next week

Michelle Hynes-McIlroy
@ Legaleaglemhm

Top 10 tips for law students to get that traineeship

Ok so if getting a training contract requires extra skills how do law students get these’ extra skills’

Mature students by default bring with them a range of skills acquired from both life and careers but what about the straight from School law students , how can they develop extra skills necessary to place them ahead when competing for a training contract.

It’s not an easy answer but here are some suggestions for students embarking on a legal career or during their undergraduate years at university.

Ten Top Tips
1. Join an extra curriculum club at university. I joined several but the main one was the mature students association. It doesn’t have to be a ‘law ‘related club but what you can show a potential employer is your ability to work as a ‘team player’.
If you join the committee you can experience a whole range of challenging situations which can develop negotiating skills, motivating skill and managerial skills. Taking a position as secretary or treasures of any committee helps to fine tune business skills whilst enjoying what you do.
All clubs at university can help you develop these skills and you can grow your social circle too.
2. Join a ‘mooting’ club. I joined University of Glasgow’s Mooting club and had a fantastic time. I was able to learn invaluable mooting skills which gained approval from Lord Roger of Earl’s ferry and I was delighted to win the Dean’s Cup mooting competition in 2007 and collect a prize from The Faculty of Procurators and represent Glasgow in the Annual Sheriffs moot.
Mooting gave me excellent time management skills and developed my skills of persuasion and argument.
It was all lot of fun too.
3. Network – it’s never too early to start networking. Attend as many events advertised through your law school and Law society (many are free to students).Network on social media – Successful lawyers cannot see that you’re shy in the virtual world. Everyone is equal so it’s easier to ask questions of successful lawyers on twitter or Facebook than it is in ‘real life’
4. Build yourself a brand. If you have a love of family law or are passionate about Intellectual property Law follow specialist lawyers in these fields on twitter. You can learn so much from them and they are there to answer your questions and can direct you to great sources that you would not learn about in law school.
5. Connect with other law students not only in your class but in other universities and in other countries. All law students share a passion for law no matter what language we speak. We have the same challenges, deadlines, goals and passions and you never know that connection you make with a law firm in New York City may we be the firm you will undertake your training contract with in 3 years. A new project called legaleaglettes global will launch soon which will bring together legal professionals around the world. Follow @legaleaglettes for information of how to connect.
6. Work experience is really important and even just being in the environment of a law firm can give you knowledge you wouldn’t get at law school. I undertook a work placement with a criminal lawyer Amer Anwar and really enjoyed my placement.It also gave me something to talk about when I went for interviews.At @roadtrafficlaw we have law students who attend court and do legal research.get yourself down to your local court as often as you can and observe cases.
7. Confidence is important too and taking part in any events that can help you with your confidence skills such as debating, amateur dramatics or even public speaking can help.
8. Be careful about what you post on social media. Potential employers will check you’re on line presence so it’s important to think very carefully about what you post on Facebook and also have a look at your privacy settings.
9. Marketing – We all market ourselves; think about how your favourite band markets itself to you. Use all forms of marketing to get ‘your brand- YOU’ out there and create the right image for you.Linkedin is a good forum for recording your achievements and building up good connections with law firms you would like to work with.Twitter is a good way to start to market yourself.Start this early …..It can take time to build up a relationship with a firm and the import thing is to remember why you’re marketing yourself… get chosen, to be picked and to get that training contract.
10. Dont forget that normal everyday life can give you skills which you should emphasis. If you play sport or are involved in any groups or even love to cook tell your employer. The biggest task you have once you get your degree (after all the long hours in the library) will be to market YOURSELF and no-one will do this for Yourdon wait till 4th year start now- check list for all students once you matriculate:sign up to
Follow @legaleaglettes

I hope this is helpful and if you need any further advice email me

The @legaleaglettes plans to ‘create’ the future of law not just react to changes in law

The Legaleaglettes are ‘creating’ the ‘future of law’ not just responding to it

The @legaleaglettes now has 103 followers and is growing by the day. So what is the purpose of the legaleaglettes and what is going to happen over the coming months?

Firstly I think we are all agreed that something is changing, call it a paradigm shift or a redress to the balance whatever around the world changes in how we learn law, communicate law and practise law are emerging. The way we recruit lawyers and gain traineeships is changing too.
It’s no longer enough just to work hard get a first class honours degree and walk into a training contract with your firm of choice.

The purpose of the ‘@legaleaglettes‘ covers many different areas as follows
• To join law students (including colleges, paralegals and pre undergrad)/ trainees/NQ/solicitors and advocates and barristers around the world together and allow them access sources of law.

• To let law students (of all stages from pre to post grad) share in research and legal methods of education.

• To build a peer group that can help each other in legal training and networking.

• To Profile law students of all stages to potential employers….everyone wants the next ‘rising star’ to be on their team. Follow @legaleaglettes now you may hire them in 2 years?

• To give the @legaleaglettes something extra on their CV which sets them apart from other candidate and may even be enough to land them that training contract with the firm they want.Communicate in a 21st Century manner to land that 21st Century job.

• The build up a network of associates – you can never start early enough
• YOU WILL NOTE THAT USING TWITTER AS A FREE MARKETING TOOL IS NOT EVEN ON THIS LIST and in my opinion many lawyers/firms are missing the point of twitter. Use it for us (legal profession of the present and future) productively.

I have big plans for the @legaleaglettes and here are some of them

This month a video channel will launch which will showcase law students/trainees/NQ form around the world – it’s an online channel and will be updated regularly. These films will show who the legaleaglettes are and give you an opportunity to see what the future members of the profession are saying. (It’s an impressive bunch so far)

We are looking for at least 5 firms of different sizes and across the world to offer your help by sponsoring the #futurelaw @legaleaglettes.

We will update the movie channel on a regular basis to include tales of changes in Universities, law firms, Law societies and in Legal research –basically were going to be the next generation of ‘on-line jurists’ commenting on the law and the shape of the law as it happens- sounds ambitious?

Yes it is ambitious, but I believe that if only half of the law students are as passionate about Law, justice and our world as I am, then this will work.

As @legaleaglettes grow I hope to encourage law firms large and small to get their trainees involved from the first day of their training contract.

I hope that small firms too will get their trainees involved and will be able to watch as young and old lawyers move through their study years into practise and see the changes which would normally not be easily accessed. (In fact this is totally unique and this cannot be seen anywhere-to date)

I will also personally be speaking to students at Universities and encouraging them to join us and learn, engage record and of course showcase themselves and build their own brand.

@Stevensonlaw one of the Directors of the Law Society of Scotland posted a tweet today which reads ‘Starting to think about more support for high street firms – what would be most useful to solicitors in practice?’I think this is a great question, but I suggest that as a profession we take a ‘forward thinking’ stance here and plan ahead giving not only current lawyers but the ‘next generation of lawyers’ the support they need in learning the skills they need right now. Skills such as business development and marketing and how to build their ‘own brand’.We can create a legal profession to be proud of one that listens, communicates and actually understands what our clients need and how we can best give it to them.

I propose that instead of ‘reacting’ to the changes we ‘create’ the change and take back some of the responsibility for ourselves.

Let us create a ‘future of law’ that not only listen and responds but does so with ease and skill not just trying to pick up tips and skills on the way.
I really want all of the @legaleaglettes to help me do this and I hope you will help too.

Email me on
13 July 2010

1st Legaleaglette @JessiePenaloza from Argentina

In Latin America, Social Media isn’t still a popular source for professional workers. Most of people (professionals or not) don’t take much advantage of it, and use it for personal issues or to get specific information or just entertainment. I think that it’s because they still can’t see how the virtual changes in our lives are taking place every day, and affecting every part of them. For example, how a simple word on their profile can make a difference on their reputation (i note that, even more on young people). And all because… there is not information.
Most professionals that use Social Media, here, are people who are working with technology, management, business, international commerce or computer Law, especially to bring up to date.
And writing a blog isn’t common, I mean, if we make a comparison with another’s countries of the world.
In L.A.´s legal system still coexist old acts from XIX century (putting into effect these days) with the new ones (talking about every branch of law). So, there is a big challenge today to change this situation, adapting it at the same time to this new age.
Talking about this virtual world, in Argentina Ii can see 2 groups of lawyers, in general: those who prefer the connection with their clients face to face (the majority) and use the virtual world:- to consult case law and doctrine;
– to consult with others lawyers;
– to share and talk about specific subjects ( about techniques, commerce and ethics)
Also, there is another group, besides that activity, that work with law for virtual world and Social Media.
This group is the ones who are mostly of time using social media for sharing information and to attract clients, making a reputation and creating new concepts. And they are great leaders on technology and law.

Some of them use Twitter for a specific activity but, Facebook is more famous (still the 140 characters are a mystery hahaha). I see that during this year the number of Twitter users is growing up. Most of them are:
– Lawyers between 25 to 50 years old;
– living in the capital city;
– Following people that they don’t have a direct contact;
– using it for personal and professional issues to communicate thoughts and
– have a blog

Personally I prefer Twitter because is more precise, faster and easier to find legal information and know professional contacts. I search another sources, but if we talk about Social Media, I like Twitter.

About challenges, one of them is that we need to face, in Argentina, how different formats has effects as evidence on a trial, how technology can help us to make a legal system better and faster. As for example, mediation between people on different places in the world (i was part of one for an experiment and works perfectly but still aren’t economics resources to put it in to work in the public system) or to make agile a divorce procedure (a computing system in our courts is still boring).
For this generation of lawyers and the next, we have a challenge to face in this time that, if we know how to use social media, can become on one of the most important tools for our lives, to make them betters and make good things for them and for our clients and the rest of people in this world.

P.S.: sorry for my English but I’m still learning.