Beyond the Information Age: The Duty of Technology Competence in the Algorithmic Society

24 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018 Last revised: 11 Jan 2018

See all articles by Jamie Baker

Jamie Baker

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: December 15, 2017


While law has generally been slow to adapt to technological change, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct amended the Duty of Competence language to include a Duty of Technology Competence. This duty requires lawyers to keep abreast of “changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” A majority of states have now adopted this new Duty of Technology Competence, but there is little guidance on its current reach. The guidance documents mainly discuss the duty in terms of eDiscovery, electronic storage, social media, and the cloud. As society moves beyond the Information Age to the Algorithmic Society, this duty should extend to the competent use of artificial intelligence and algorithms in law. As such, it behooves the legal academy to prepare lawyers for ethical practice in this brave new world.

Keywords: algorithms, artificial intelligence, duty of technology competence, ABA model rules, lawyers, ethics, legal research

Suggested Citation

Baker, Jamie, Beyond the Information Age: The Duty of Technology Competence in the Algorithmic Society (December 15, 2017). South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 69, 2018. Available at SSRN:

Jamie Baker (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford Ave.
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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