The Workchop Conversation with Mary Clains Tino, Program & Community Manager at the World Legal Summit & Program Lead at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy

Written by Jesulayomi Adetola

September 8, 2021

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have Mary Clains Tino, the Program and Community Manager at the World Legal Summit. She serves as the Program Lead at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy (Online) and Operations Manager at Legal Innovation Hub.
Currently, she is student pursuing a Bachelor of Laws Degree at Makerere University where she serves as the Vice President of the Rule of Law Club. Clains is a member of the African Law & Tech Network, Kampala Legal Hackers and Mountain Club of Uganda.

Tell us briefly about your journey into tech and law. What spurred your interest?

Before joining university, I interacted with Bitland Uganda, a blockchain powered land registry system and was amazed by the tremendous potential of this initiative and other emerging technologies. Through the Coffee With Alice mentorship program, I learned and was intrigued by the legal and regulatory issues pertaining to such emerging technologies.
This curiosity pushed me to pursue courses on EdX and to attend numerous conferences on this topic. I seek to continue to cultivate my knowledge and interest in this field.

Could you share a bit about your role as a Program and Community Manager at the World
Legal Summit? If you could describe what you do in three (3) words, what would it be?

The World Legal Summit is a multi-party initiative which brings jurisdictions and communities together in exploring the development of legislative frameworks for emerging technologies.
My role includes; relationship/event management, research, social outreach and engagement. If I had to choose three words to describe my role, I would pick; collaboration, media and research.

Could you describe the state of the tech and law ecosystem in Africa and where it could be in the next five (5) years? What would be your advice to those looking to break into the space?

The tech and law ecosystem in Africa is growing exponentially. LegalTech products, innovation to foster best practices, communities and new laws to regulate the emerging technologies are all coming in due time. In the next five years, I believe that we will be more receptive to technologies like virtual reality in the Legal space. We have moved into the most technological decade due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The judiciary and academia will be more engaged and involved in the
tech and law ecosystem in Africa. I would advise anyone looking to break into the space to definitely go for it, self-educate, get
mentors, volunteer, join existing communities and prioritize lifelong learning.

Could you share what your roles at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy and Legal Innovation Hub involve? What apps or systems do you use to ensure your productivity?

I lead the teams at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy (AILTA) and Legal Innovation Hub (LIH). The Academy provides legal knowledge and professional skills required to understand the relationship between the law, technology and innovation. The Hub fosters innovation in the legal profession and enhances the mode of delivering legal services and access to justice. My roles include; organizing hackathons, conferences, design, research and public relations.

My favorite go-to apps for work are Google workspace, Canva, Buffer and Asana. When working, I encourage collaboration, learning and niche identification. These are systems we have in place to ensure productivity.

How do you recharge or take a break? What do you spend time doing aside from work?

I take nature walks and recently took an interest in rock climbing. I am always on a lookout for new adventures. I read story books with children through community book clubs which share the beauty of storytelling.

Funny question, if you had to work, but you didn’t need the money, what would you do?

I would stick to my current work which is centered around Law, Technology and Education. I realized that I work best when I am doing something I love and creating change and that’s what I am doing now.

Who would you like to answer these questions?
Alice Namuli Blazevic, Partner at Katende Ssempebwa & Co Advocates and Hannah Gannyana, Lead Organizer of Kampala Legal Hackers.

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