OBA Names New Innovator-in-Residence

  • June 05, 2024

Colin Lachance will work with lawyers to integrate AI into profession

TORONTO – The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) is excited to introduce Colin Lachance as its 2024-25 Innovator-in-Residence. In this role, he will spearhead a groundbreaking initiative aimed at assisting lawyers with effectively integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their practice to better serve their clients.

Through its new Real Intelligence on AI initiative, the OBA has been demystifying AI and helping lawyers  better understand and mitigate its risks, while enjoying its many benefits. Lachance's mandate encompasses the design and execution of a companion program that will help equip OBA members with a solid understanding of AI's current state, as well as empowering them to effectively utilize AI tools. This comprehensive initiative will ensure a harmonious collaboration ensuring lawyers are able to harness the potential of AI as a tool to deliver high-quality legal services.

Key elements of his mandate include:

  • AI Sandbox Tool: Build a sandbox tool enabling lawyers and firm leaders to learn about AI technologies. This includes designing a hands-on training program for lawyers to leverage the sandbox environment to create and tailor AI tools for their practice.
  • Office Hours: A weekly Zoom lunch hour chat for OBA members interested in the latest AI developments, answers to member questions and informal conversations with leading legal AI thinkers from around the globe. Register here for the first session set for June 11th at noon.
  • Educational Communications: Design and execute a series of instructive and educational communications to advance knowledge and understanding of AI’s role in the legal field.
  • AI Tool Guidelines: Provide a comprehensive list of considerations and instructions for building or tailoring AI tools for legal practice.
  • Organizational Policies: Develop a template set of organizational policies for law firms to adopt, supporting the deployment and use of AI tailored to firms of all sizes.

“AI holds tremendous potential for the legal profession, and I'm eager to help OBA members harness this technology to improve their practice,” says Lachance. “When used right, AI can be a tool that will help lawyers do their jobs better. The OBA is helping to shape and define the lawyer-AI partnership and mould it in a way that puts the lawyer in the driver’s seat. I look forward to being a part of that.”

“With AI, as with all other innovations, the OBA’s first job is to provide education and useful tools to improve the lives of lawyers and help them do their jobs," says OBA President Kelly McDermott. “Colin is the ideal person to take the OBA’s Real Intelligence on AI to the next level. I’m excited about the tools and services we will be able to offer the bar through this important initiative.”

About the Ontario Bar Association

Please visit the Innovator-in-Residence website to learn more about the program.

Established in 1907, the OBA is the largest voluntary legal association in Ontario representing over 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The OBA provides continuing professional development and advocates for improvements to the law in the interests of the profession and public.


The OBA annually appoints and supports an Innovator to serve an annual term in which they will focus on a designated innovation theme of importance to practicing lawyers.  

The Innovator-in-Residence Program leads and supports the Ontario bar to, and through, innovative change with the information, education, practical advice, and tools that lawyers need to succeed in a rapidly changing market. 

While “in residence” the Innovator’s role will be to identify, develop and advance innovations that will help lawyers better serve their clients. Throughout the term, the OBA will deliver practical, cutting-edge tools, services and supports to lawyers and law firms. 
As an annually funded initiative, the Innovator in Residence will consistently offer the profession the fresh perspectives, knowledge, skills, and connections necessary to drive change and keep pace with the speed of innovation.  

About Colin lachance

Colin Lachance is principal at PGYA Consulting where he assists law firms and legal departments on their AI journey. He has actively contributed to the advancement of legal AI in Canada and beyond through founding roles in legal publisher Compass, the non-profit Legal Innovation Data Institute and legal AI startup Jurisage; as interim GM for North America of global legal publisher vLex; and through serving as CEO of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) from 2011 to 2015. He has been named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers” by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, a “Legal Rebel” by ABA Journal and was also named a member of the Fastcase 50 class of legal innovators and visionaries. He is a frequent writer and speaker on legal tech/information/innovation topics and is highly active in supporting the development of legal information and technology projects. Previous roles included senior legal, advocacy, marketing, and lobbying roles in the telecommunications industry.

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For more information:

Michael Speers
Media & Communications Specialist