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Future Law and the Legal System

Stanford_University_P1010988
(Stanford University - Jaclyn Chen)
 
 
 

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- Overview 

The future of the legal industry will involve technology automating and assisting with standard repetitive work. Lawyers are going to realize that they need to step in up in terms of technology innovation in order to keep up with other industries that have been quick to accept new technologies.

If there’s one constant, it’s change. What once was will not always be. The Internet and social media have dramatically changed our jobs and how we interact. Technology has forever altered future law by furthering human rights and access to justice, while big data and analytics play an increasingly larger role in society in general and the legal world in particular. 

New breakthroughs in digital law are occurring on a daily basis as legal technology becomes the standard within law firms and in-house legal departments. Economic and technological forces are factoring into regulators’ responses and rulings as consumer law firms scramble to adapt -- and adopt best practices. 

We don’t need to wait for the future; it’s already here. Our job is to stay on top of technology and harness its power to formulate laws that strengthen our country, serve and protect the populace and preserve respect for and adherence to the constitution.

 

- The Future of Courts - Remote Courts 

Technology has invaded our professional and personal lives. The courts have not been immune to this invasion but rather are actively participating by maintaining court records electronically, enabling or even requiring electronic filing of pleadings and orders, and building high-tech courtrooms for evidence presentation. Not all of these changes have occurred due to proactive decisions to modernize. Indeed, some have come about due to limitations on the old way of doing business and others because of convenience.  

In the middle of March 2020, court buildings around the world began to close in response to the rapid spread of a newly identified coronavirus (the “COVID-19”). Within days, alternative ways of delivering court service were put in place in many jurisdictions. The uptake of various technologies, especially video, was accelerated in the justice systems of numerous countries. There remain some skeptics and critics, but in light of the experience during the crisis, there is certainly greater acceptance now than in February 2020 -- amongst lawyers, judges, officials, and court users—that judicial and court work might be undertaken very differently in years to come. Minds have been opened and changed over the past few months. Many assumptions have been swept aside.

We remain in an era of threat, with risks of barely functioning court systems, greatly reduced access to justice, and, in turn, a potential weakening of the rule of law. We are also in an era of opportunity—the chance to build boldly on the shift of attitude and on demonstrable recent successes with technology, and to put in place improved, sustainable court services that are much more accessible than today’s.

 

- The Future of Laws and Legal Systems

Laws and the legal systems anticipate and also respond to evolutions in technology in ways that may enhance or inhibit development. We examines these changes from an historical perspective, using the evolution of telecommunications technologies and regulations as a case study. We then examines current technological developments in sectors such as green energy, transportation, genetic engineering, and social networks in the context of disciplines from the lawyer's toolkit: intellectual property, business organization, contractual relationships, constitutional rights of individuals, and theories of liability.  

The future of laws and legal systems will emphasize how future lawyers can and should anticipate or envision future legal impacts - including legislation, litigation, and corporate governance—of emerging technologies. Each seminar attendee will select a particular technology, describe what makes it emerging, and explain its anticipated legal impacts in a seminar presentation and paper.

 

- The Future of Laws and Lawyers: Legal Tech, AI, Big Data And Online Courts

Advances in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) allow modern software to scan legal documents, streamline communications and find relevant casework for lawyers. McKinsey estimates that 23% of work done by lawyers can be automated by existing technology. In the future, is it conceivable that a firm would be charged with legal malpractice if they didn't use AI? It certainly is. Today, AI offers a solution to solve or at least make the access-to-justice issue better and completely transform our traditional legal system.

AI demonstrates the machines that are intelligent and capable enough to perform tasks and function on their own. The machines that assimilate AI are designed in a way that they can think and behave like a human. This capability has given a rise to businesses in choosing to integrate with AI, in order to enhance their overall efficiency and productivity.

There's no crystal ball for the legal industry, just as there's none for life. That said, industry trends don't arise out of the ether - they develop over time. These trends collectively form the basis for estimations about what the future of the legal industry will look like. 

The future of laws and lawyers gives insight into the challenges faced in bringing the traditionally conservative legal system into the 21st century.

 

 

[More to come ...]

 

 

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