Richard Moorhead, a longtime UK and international expert on legal aid, innovation, and technology, is gathering information on the role of law schools in spreading these ideas.
As Richard puts it:
So I am asking you, if you are in legal education, to help me collect some information on what is already happening in the nation’s law schools (and I am defining nation as meaning the UK here but really would be delighted if others wanted to join in). If you are willing (and you can provide your information confidentially) I will publish a summary and if you are keen, I will try and organise a way of bringing all those interested together to discuss progress and problems in this area.
Richard is dong this in part to enrich the discussion triggered by a blog post by the equally expert Roger Smith, arguing that:
Proposals by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to upend the traditional organisation of legal education in England and Wales offer the opportunity for discussion of the importance of covering the impact of technology on the training of lawyers. The SRA intends to end the autonomy of law schools to pass students for both the academic and practical stage of qualification. In its place will come the return of nationally set tests – the Solicitors Qualifying Examinations Stages 1 and 2. It is vital that both reflect the degree of change driven by technology in the legal profession.
Domestic English law schools have been rather slower than their American cousins in absorbing technology into the syllabus. Richard Susskind reports ‘with a heavy heart’ that ‘not a single law school in England can boast of a centre focusing on either the future of legal services or the role of technology’ in the recently released second edition of his Tomorrow’s Lawyers: an introduction to your future (OUP).
I am less convinced that we deserve these plaudits, although Roger’s listing of things we are dong here is impressive, and worth a read.
The survey is here.