Text to Bits: Beyond the Revolution in Law and Lawyering
21 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2016
Date Written: October 2, 2016
Legal futurists have presaged disruption to legal services in common law jurisdictions for decades. The profession, academy, and judiciary, trained in the conservative endeavour of risk avoidance and comfortable in the certainty of the law’s own immanence, have stood firm in the face of the inexorable shift of law from text to bits. So far it has been possible to retain the discipline’s purpose, utilising sustainable technological innovation to improve or enhance existing legal process and practice. However the advent of intelligent technologies and entirely reconceptualised modes of human interaction through software such as blockchain challenge the discipline: the profession, its processes, and the law itself. This essay traverses the digital turn, highlighting the likely transformation of law and lawyering beyond the digital revolution to date. Survival of the law itself depends upon lawyers rapidly deploying a suite of skills and dispositions suited to the next wave of disruptive innovation.
Keywords: legal education, lawyers, legal practice, digital disruption, digital technologies, legal technology
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