Research request: Evolving technological trends in legal practice and gaps in legal education

April 29, 2019

We are currently working on a research project which explores the evolving technological trends in legal practice and are seeking views from the profession on what gaps are appearing in the current legal education curriculum as a result of these changes. The project is funded by the British and Irish Law and Technology Association (BILETA) and we want to understand more about the use of technology in legal practice and how law schools are addressing the needs and expectations of legal practice when it comes to equipping students/graduates with the necessary skills for ‘digital lawyering’.  

The three broad questions that we are addressing are as follows: 

  1. What technology is currently being utilised, is planned for implementation, and is anticipated for future use by legal practice? 
  2. What skills, aptitude and knowledge are currently needed and expected from law graduates by legal practice?   
  3. Are law schools addressing these needs and expectations in their delivery of legal education? 

The long-term aim of the project is to affect change in the curricula of law schools so that law graduates are better equipped with the necessary skills to practice law, in a time where the use of technology is evolving and increasing rapidly. 

Using the Project’s Findings

The initial set of findings from this study will be presented at the ‘Lawyering in a Digital Age: Equipping students for technologically advancing practice of law conference’ in June 2019 in Ambleside, Lake District UK. where delegates from England, Scotland, Ireland, Poland and Australia will gather to discuss the issues.

Your Contribution

If you are reading this piece and want to contribute towards the shaping of a modern legal education, please join us at the event and, if you are in a law firm, please contribute to the project by completing the short questionnaire available the weblinks. The questionnaire should only take around 10-15 minutes

Ann Thanaraj is the founder and host of the ‘Lawyering in a Digital Age: Equipping students for technologically advancing practice of law’ conference at the University of Cumbria. Ann is also Head of Online Learning at Teesside University and former Head of Law at University of Cumbria. 

Craig Laverick is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Northumbria University, with an interest in how technology can be utilised in the classroom to increase participation and enhance learning.