Reed Smith is to allow two trainees to complete an ‘innovation seat’.

The new seats are each associated with a particular practice group, which identified projects in advance for the trainee to work on. There may also be other cross-departmental projects which both trainees will work on.

The selected trainees had expressed an interest in innovation as part of the seat change process and were selected on that basis. Examples of projects they may potentially be involved with include developing automated services for clients, working on a new knowledge analytics platform, assessing new legal technology offerings and helping to develop the firm’s service design methodology.

Reed Smith prepared its trainees by running a programme during the summer introducing all its trainees to the skills required to make these seats a success: the modules included problem identification and solving, design thinking, client listening and the impact of legal technology.

Graduate recruitment manager Holly Allen said: “We are very pleased to be launching two innovation seats for trainees. Encouraging our future lawyers to think about innovation from the start of their careers is essential to equipping them with the skills needed for the legal practice of tomorrow.”

Reed Smith is in the process of bringing in a new innovation manager after the departure of its previous chief to artificial intelligence provider RAVN. At the end of this month Adam Curphey will take up the position, coming from his current role as head of development and innovation technology at BPP Law School. At BPP, Curphey was responsible for the legal technology innovation and design course.