Connecticut Law Review Volume 45 - Issue 4

Legal Education in Disruption: The Headwinds and Tailwinds of Technology

By harnessing improvements in communications and computational systems, law firms are producing a revolution to the practice of law. Self-help legal manuals have transformed into interactive software; predictive coding can empower clients to receive sophisticated legal advice from a machine; socially mediated portals select among potential lawyers and assess the quality of the advice given; and virtual law firms threaten to disintermediate the grand edifices of twentieth century Big Law. These changes have profoundly restructured the legal practice for many solo and small firm practices. Successful small firms are adapting the technology to become much more efficient and much less reliant on their geographic location.

This Article focuses on the implications of these profound disruptive changes. It looks at the expectations the market may place on future lawyers and by extension the training necessary for lawyers entering the practice of law. The final section reflects a suggested curriculum and programmatic redesign, highlighting one possible future legal educational model, complete with acquiescence to existing constraints found in American Bar Association and other accreditation regimes.

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