Legal Education in a Digital Age: Why 'Coding for Lawyers' Matters

Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper No, 2018-4

U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-21

33 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018 Last revised: 17 Oct 2018

See all articles by Mark Fenwick

Mark Fenwick

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

Wulf A. Kaal

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota - School of Law

Erik P. M. Vermeulen

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law; Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

Date Written: August 7, 2018

Abstract

In this paper, we explain the benefits of introducing a “Coding for Lawyers” course in the legal curriculum and present our initial experiences with the course in Europe and the United States. The paper outlines the broader context of the transformation of education in a digital age; describes the importance of computer code in a legal context, particularly in terms of on-going changes in the legal profession; and, introduces the main features of the course and its initial reception. The main argument is to suggest that the lawyers of the future will be “transaction engineers” and that to perform this function effectively, legal professionals need to be able to understand the basic concepts and power of coding.

Keywords: Algorithms, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Coding, Cryptocurrency, Digital, Digital Transformation, Distributed Ledger Technology, DLT, Ethereum, Legal Education, Legal Tech, Smart Contracts, Software, Transaction Engineers, Tokens, Trust

JEL Classification: A20, C90, D20, D80, G30, I20, I21, I23, I25, K10, K20, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Fenwick, Mark and Kaal, Wulf A. and Vermeulen, Erik P.M., Legal Education in a Digital Age: Why 'Coding for Lawyers' Matters (August 7, 2018). Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper No, 2018-4; U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3227967 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3227967

Mark Fenwick

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

6-19-1 Hakozaki,
Fukuoka
Japan

Wulf A. Kaal

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota - School of Law ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

Erik P.M. Vermeulen (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law ( email )

Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department ( email )

Amstelplein 2
Amsterdam
Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashiku
Fukuoka, 812-8581
Japan

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