Topics & Schedule
Apply legal technology to your career path
Over the course of three weeks, you will take part in six core sessions and a series of lectures and discussions to gain an understanding of technologies and processes that you will be able to apply to your own career.
During your time in Hamburg, you will establish a foundation by which to examine the future of legal service operations; core sessions will involve treatment of examples relating to small, medium and large law firms, the justice system and non-profit legal service organizations.
Assignments in individual class meetings will enable you to build skills in project management as well as data collection and the application of metrics.
Having gained an understanding of legal service delivery processes, theoretical discussions will help you to identify areas for improvement. Applying your skills and knowledge, you will join an international team and devise a capstone project in which you will seek to address this deficiency in legal practice.
Please note that this overview is provisional; session titles and descriptions are subject to edits.
Computational law concerns the mechanization of legal analysis. In this session, students will learn coding basics; learn to represent law, legal analysis, and agreements as explicit rules; and develop basic applications that automate the creation of documents and giving of advice upon the collection of variable inputs.
The legal profession is gradually becoming part of a broader industry that encompasses both lawyers and sophisticated professionals from other disciplines. This structural shift is driven by the gradual adoption of innovations that are changing how legal problems are solved. The purpose of this session is to provide participants with a solid theoretical and practical grounding on the current state of the legal industry and where it's likely headed over the next ten to twenty years. Participants will acquire a strong working knowledge of innovation diffusion theory, which is an interdisciplinary field that draws upon decades of research from sociology, anthropology, marketing, communications, geography, public health, education and various other disciplines. They will also have access to curated guest lecturers who work on the cutting edge of legal innovation. Participants who complete all of the requisite work will see a wider array of career opportunities and be better positioned to weigh their professional options.
The structure of this session will rely heavily on team-based learning, which closely resembles the work environment of many new emerging businesses. The assessment will be based on a combination of individual preparation, team work product, active class engagement and individual contributions to team performance.
Prof. William Henderson is a member of the academic faculty at the Maurer School of Law (Indiana University). His scholarship focuses on empirical analysis of the legal profession and legal education. (View Bio)
Participants will receive an introduction to the emerging fields of Legal Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. The session will begin with a brief history of artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence + law. Then, we will turn our attention to data driven applications of such methods. Our goal is to introduce participants to understand the process of extracting actionable knowledge from data, to distinguish themselves in legal proceedings involving data or analysis, and to assist in firm and in-house management, including billing, case forecasting, process improvement, resource management and financial operations. Participants will review real world use cases including those involving prediction, risk management and operations. They will also explore how to communicate data driven insights to a non-technical audience through visualization and user interfaces.
Prof. Dr. Daniel Katz is the Director of the Law Lab at Chicago-Kent College of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology). His scholarship and teaching integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (View Bio)
What does the future of legal services and systems look like? In this course, participants will be trained in innovation methodology, specifically with human-centered design and agile development, to learn how to be leaders in legal innovation.
Participants will work in small teams on real-world challenges, by following a design cycle of hands-on research, rapid prototyping and testing of new solutions, and gradual refinement of a pilot.
The course will empower participants with skills of management, user research, product development, and business model generation. Participants will learn methods to make legal services that are more accessible and engaging, and will also think through larger questions of how to manage behavior and organizational change. These skills are increasingly relevant as the legal market shifts, and the legal field needs new revenue models and new types of organizations.
Participants will leave the class with:
- a new set of tools to use with complex, systems-level problems
- practice in project management and interdisciplinary team-work
- a portfolio piece of a project they've created
In Legal Operations, we develop and implement a strategy to manage resources, maximize productivity and measure outcomes in a legal business environment. Legal Operations are critical to optimizing the performance of any legal department and can create a competitive advantage for your company. This session will provide a description of Legal Operations and why it is important to in-house legal departments and law firms. It will provide an in-depth review of legal operations best practices, including structure of legal departments, outside counsel engagements, and legal technology solutions. This session is critical for lawyers to understand how to better partner with and understand the needs of their in-house clients.
This session delves into the nuanced world of conflict management and provides an overview of digitalization of dispute resolution. New ways of organizing dispute resolution are continuously sought from technology, but it is still unclear how different applications will in fact impact conflict management inside and outside the courts. Will robots replace human judges in courts in the near future? What is the impact of deep learning or AI software on the tasks of a litigation lawyer? What happens to due process when dispute resolution is automated? Is legal technology the solution for fiscal sustainability or the detriment of due process? This core session provides answers to such questions primarily from European perspective.
During the session, participants will gain a comprehensive introduction to dispute resolution and tools for critical assessment of both the potential and the threats associated with dispute resolution technology. By focusing on the ethical dimension of dispute resolution technology, the session provides knowledge on how to use, implement and design dispute resolution technology in a sustainable and fair manner. Themes covered in the session include, e.g., courtroom technology and electronic evidence, e-arbitration and online dispute resolution, conflict prevention and access services, decision support tools and algorithmic decision making.
The session includes a workshop where participants work together in teams to develop new solutions for the pitfalls of existing resolution models.
In connection with digitalization, algorithms are technical rules that are increasingly competing with law as a means for controlling behavior. They can support, modify, or thwart the validity of law. In combination with the opportunities associated with artificial intelligence, algorithms are particularly important with respect to the handling of big data.
The aim of prescriptive analytics is to create strategies in order, e.g., to influence attitudes, behaviors, and social developments; with the ability to influence individual behavior and the way public opinion is formed, they offer considerable potential for manipulation.
This session addresses the special features of the types of rules and of the process for generating and applying technical and legal rules. In contrast to law that is enacted and applied at the sovereign level, the development and use of algorithms by private actors, particularly globally operating enterprises, is generally not the result of a process that is governed by the rule of law, nor is it one that is usually transparent and subject to public scrutiny.
The session concludes with an overview of suggestions on how the opportunities associated with digitalization can be exploited without jeopardizing fundamental freedoms and the realization of other interests in the common good.
Discussion & Lecture Series
Over the last few years there has been considerable interest in the application of data-driven, machine learning techniques to the practice of law. Legal technology is no longer merely a means by which to automate contract production, produce workflows, manage legal projects, create templates, or undertake legal research. Increasingly it is a means by which to handle legal and commercial data: to organise it, record it, extract it, analyze it, predict from it and leverage it. Whilst legal technology changes the way legal work is completed, digital data changes the nature of the work itself—with desirable and undesirable consequences for access to justice and the rule of law. Sophisticated user interfaces intended to democratize access to data analytics, conceal many of the complexities that arise in the use of predictive systems. As such, it becomes increasingly important to understand the limitations of data-driven legal decision-making and to consider its appropriateness in a range of contexts. In this session we will explore the application of data analytics to legal decision making in the public and private sector, and, drawing on a number of case studies we will consider the theoretical, methodological, doctrinal and practical implications of the inevitable "data-driven future of law."
Session title to be confirmed; description to follow
Networks are everywhere. Lawyers use them to get to work (infrastructure networks), to seek advice (social networks), and to do research (information networks). They craft them (citation networks), oversee them (financial networks), and fight them (criminal networks). Upon closer inspection, almost anything can be modeled as a network: a collection of entities, combined with a collection of relationships between those entities. Legal network science studies how legal phenomena can be represented as networks and investigates what we can gain from their quantification and visualization. This session introduces the network perspective on law and teaches the basics of legal network science, with a focus on its potential to improve legal practice.
"Legal Tech" is a complex phenomenon and sometimes just a simple term summarizing all the changes occurring at the moment. Law Firms do their best to navigate through these turbulent times. As the legal profession was—and is still—a very traditional "industry" struggling with terms like "legal business" or "delivery of legal services," many market participants just don't know how to get a grip on what's usually referred to as "digital transformation." Technology seems to attack the business model of law firms in a way that leaves no safe places.
In his lecture, Mr. Hartung analyzes the impact of the digital transformation and technology on law firms and in-house legal departments. At the moment, the latter tend to lean back and relax because they consider this to be a "law firm only" issue. Getting closer, the outlines become clearer and show a completely new design of what we at Bucerius call the "management of the legal function and risk management." This will have an impact on the legal industry as a whole—in-house and in private practice.
This session will address some of the intricacies of artificial legal intelligence or data-driven law, taking note of three potential uses:
- the use of data-driven legal tech as a means for information retrieval within the domain of law—whether regarding evidence, case law analysis or statutory law (This may be termed "distant reading" of legal texts as a way to prepare for legal argumentation or legal decision making based on "close reading" of the relevant legal sources.)
- the use of data-driven legal tech to predict the outcome of legal cases, either as a matter of academic research or as input for legal decision making
- the use of data-driven legal tech to automate legal decision making in the name of efficiency and effectiveness, resulting in code-driven law
The core question will be how such uses of artificial legal intelligence fare with central tenets of the Rule of Law, notably the notion of due process.
Dr. Mireille Hildebrandt holds the (part-time) chair of Smart Environments, Data Protection and the Rule of Law at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences at Radboud University and is a Research Professor at the research group for Law Science Technology and Society at Vrije Universiteit Brussels. (View Bio)