Data & It Law Week, vol. 35: Fewer lawyers in the future, law and technology visions and IP law book available online

More efficient future, fewer lawyers?

Noah Waisberg had raised this question in his presentation at International Legal Technology Association 2014. The presentation was about the effect of legal tools enabling automated task performance on the legal industry. The general idea is that better technology would lead to fewer lawyers. However, this might not be a case.

Waisberg argues, that this conclusion “rests on big assumptions that demand won’t change.” To the contrary, he argues that legal technology might enable a massive growth of demand for legal services. Technology might help reduce the price of legal services for people who cannot afford to pay for it today.

Accordingly, his prediction is that in 2024, there would be even more high-end legal jobs.


Four visions on the impact of technology on law

These visions were also presented at International Legal Technology Association 2014, taking place this week.

The panel consisted of CEOs and founders of several legal technology startups and small firms, that try to use data in legal practice. It started with a keynote presentation about “six stages of technological disruption, which starts with digitization and ends with democratized technology that anyone can use”. Afterwards, the members of the panel discussed four visions of the future of the law.

–       increased use of “robots” in legal practice

–       expanding demand

–       possibilities in instant international cooperation – creation of “swarm law”

–       innovation in the legal space would come from outside of law firms


Open coursebook in Intellectual Property

Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain is announcing the publication of Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society—Cases and Materials by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins.

It is available for free under Creative Commons license, however, paperback version must be purchased.

It focuses on three main forms of intellectual property—trademark, copyright and patent—but many of the ideas discussed here apply far beyond those legal areas. It includes discussions of such issues as the Redskins trademark cancelations, the Google Books case and the America Invents Act.

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