Artificial Lawyer to switch to ‘library mode’ while founder takes year-long sabbatical

Online UK legaltech site to pause news service in January as Richard Tromans makes lifestyle choice to pursue other projects

The founder and editor of UK-based legaltech and innovation news website Artificial Lawyer is to put it in ‘library mode’ next year in order to take a year-long sabbatical.

Richard Tromans unveiled the plan today, putting the move down to a ‘long-term life-cycle’ that sees him take ‘a big chunk of time off to do other things’ around the five-year mark.

The site will stop publishing news and most other content from early January until he is back ‘in office’ in 2024.

‘The AL website and all its many resources, articles, videos and more, will remain 100% available as a global and free resource for all your research needs,’ he said. ‘I will not however be adding news stories to the site until I am back ‘in office’ in 2024. This will allow me more time to focus on other projects that have been put off for some time.'

He described the break as a ‘working sabbatical’ in which he planned to focus on ‘new long-form writing projects that in some cases do, and in others don’t, connect to the legal tech world’.

He added: ‘At some point one just has to “seize the moment” and do what you want to do and feel driven to do.’

The thinking behind the move struck a chord with several readers, who posted their support on LinkedIn. 

Emma Haywood, associate general counsel, commercial and technology at digital healthcare specialist Babylon, wrote: ‘I’m a big believer in having a flexible life and making sure you do everything you want to do in the time that the Gods give us, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to exploring what life has to offer and what we can offer in return.’

Tromans, a former journalist at Legal Week and consultant at Jomati, founded Artificial Lawyer in July 2016 with the tag line ‘Changing The Business Of Law’.

Its content is targeted at ‘everyone in the legal sector who is supporting, or interested in, or working with this transformative technology’ and it is updated on a daily basis with news, features, interviews and videos.

Tromans said it wasn’t possible to hire someone to run the site in his absence given that he is the only person who works on it, meaning he would inevitably have to remain involved, even if it took up fewer hours.

‘Aside from the sponsored think pieces that people provide, I do all the work and write all the articles and record all the videos, handle ad sales, accounting, basic tech needs, editing, design and more – there is a lot of activity that goes into running the site on a daily basis,’ he explaind.

Artificial Lawyer will, however, be publishing news and information about forthcoming Legal Innovators events. The series was created by Artificial Lawyer and is organised by marketing and business development specialists Cosmonauts.

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