Embracing the Pioneer Spirit as a Woman in Legal Tech


LawCPD Co-Founder Sarah Mateljan shares her thoughts on being a female pioneer in tech

By Sarah Mateljan, Co-Founder, LawCPD


Have you heard the expression “if she can see it, she can be it”? This expression underpins an important concept - that having role models to look up to matters. But for us to see it, someone has to be it first. One person needs to take a leap of faith and run headlong into the dark not knowing what will happen because no-one has done it before. Those people are our pioneers.
Pioneers in any field, including technology, take on significant risks. They are the first to face the challenges and uncertainties of uncharted territories. The saying, "pioneers get the arrows, settlers get the land," aptly describes their journey, marked by resilience and a willingness to embrace the unknown for the promise of progress.

It is also true that most pioneers are willing to take big risks because they know there will be great rewards - sometimes for themselves, but more often to advance an issue they care deeply about, or to pave the way for all the others who will follow them. There’s a lot of things that can inspire a person to start something new. In my case, it was a problem I saw as a young law graduate. 

Back then, Western Australia decided it would introduce mandatory CPD for lawyers. But at the same time, there were no options for lawyers working outside the capital city to actually do their CPD. I had two friends working in the country and their only option was to fly to Perth and attend a conference all weekend to get their points. 

Most pioneers are willing to take big risks to advance an issue they care deeply about, or to pave the way for all the others who will follow them.

Most CPD events also ran on lunch breaks, after work or on weekends. This made it harder for lawyers who worked part time or had family commitments to participate - and more often than not meant that women lawyers were missing out on these educational opportunities. 

I wanted to solve these problems and make CPD more accessible, and that’s what inspired me to create a solution - using technology to deliver CPD to lawyers across Australia on any device. And the company I co-founded - LawCPD - created this solution.

LawCPD’s online courses meant that lawyers didn’t need to fly to the city to do their CPD, or give up their lunch break, or organise babysitters to go to a conference on a weekend or early before work - unless they actually wanted to. It gave people greater choice and flexibility - which is something I have a newfound appreciation for as the mum of two young boys. 

It also meant lawyers could learn from their colleagues from anywhere in Australia - or anywhere in the world. You could learn from the best in your field no matter where you lived. 

LawCPD was the first to provide online CPD training on smartphones, tablets and computers.  And now we are the first to use generative AI to provide a more personalised learning experience to lawyers with our AI learning feature.

All of these technological solutions were inspired by a desire to solve problems faced by people - to do something different that would make their lives better. This International Women's Day, we celebrate the spirit of pioneering and innovation. It is the courage of pioneers that enables us to envision a better future for all of us


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