Tomorrow's Lawyers: Technology, Innovation and Law at MLS

Second year JD student Stephen Lee was the perfect candidate to help investigate subject material for the new MLS subject ‘New Technology Law’. With an undergraduate in Business Information Systems and experience as an IT consultant at KPMG, he has been able to bring together his experience with technology and his studies in law to turn the stuff of science fiction movies into a cutting edge JD elective. Stephen tells MLS all about his work on the new subject.

Stephen

“I recently spent my summer working alongside Cameron Whittfield, Partner of Digital Law at PwC. My role during this time involved finding and organising the subject materials for a range of technological topics. These topics range from blockchain technology to artificial intelligence to cyber security. These materials were then used to build the curriculum taught over the course of the unit.

To most students, these are the terms of science fiction movies and video games. However, this technology is a reality. Just as the wheel has changed people’s lives and cultures, so has the advent of personal computers, smartphones and the internet. New concepts such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence are currently shaking up our world. Even now, law firms are using technology to automate legal research, bolster the efficacy of their services and create new opportunities. Technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in our lives; thus it is crucial that we understand what it is and what it means for our lives, cultures and societies.

My hope for students undertaking this subject is that they will learn how these exciting and innovative technologies will disrupt and change the role of lawyers in the future. They will understand how legal businesses are changing their structure and delivery of services in response to this technology. Just as technology has allowed for the advent of services such as AirBnB and Uber, so will it allow for new legal business models.

Law also has a role in responding to new technologies and the challenges and opportunities these present to society cohesion and wellbeing.  Innovation will uncover new and unchartered territory that will need to be regulated to protect and secure individual privacy, data and information. The exciting opportunity for law students presented by this type of subject is to learn about these technologies. The challenge is to think about the role of law in the mix.

After my JD studies, I hope to take the lessons from this experience to influence the way technology is regulated, considered and used.”

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