Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suffolk Law Grads to be Unstoppable Legal Cyborgs

Law practice is swiftly evolving, and soon, I suppose, will be little more than electrons zipping back and forth between an idle practitioner's cell phone and an electro-receptor worn by the judge - or hell, maybe even a neutral computer program called LawNet.  Trials will be conducted via video conferencing.  Depositions will take place via Twitter.  Clients will be downloaded.  Setting aside the fact that law is mostly about having money, being old, and knowing the right people, it's clear that new graduates need to be fully integrated into the Legal Borg to have any chance at success.

Thank God a school like Suffolk is ahead of the curve that others, like Harvard and Boston U., continue to slavishly adhere to, like Luddites who would do math by hand.

Introducing The Evolution of Legal Education with this brand new concentration Suffolk is adding:
To ensure the university was producing the most knowledgeable, adaptable graduates in the field, Suffolk launched the Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation in April... 
The new concentration features specialized courses on different legal technologies and innovations, including automated document assembly, legal project management, knowledge management and virtual lawyering... 
Perlman touted technology's ability to make a lawyer more efficient, and lauded LegalZoom... 
The Law School is now tasking students with developing tools of their own. One course, "Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines," taught by Marc Lauritsen, forces students to create software that would help them practice law.
And you all rip the diversity of the law degree!  Not only will these students know how to practice in practical areas of law, they'll be able to design VisualBasic programs that already exist that can help them do it.

Do you hear that?  It's the rush of clients leaving experienced, gray-haired practitioners for cool kids who have integrated Google Glass into their practices.

Real scenarios coming to a future near you:
Interviewer:  Have you ever worked on a document review before?
SuffolkAlum:  No, but I did have a concentration in legal practice technology, where we learned about technological advances in large discovery management.  I have an advanced understanding of your company and how I can fit in.
Interviewer:  Well, we just need a lawyer to click the mouse for three days so we can bill you at $6,000 while paying you $600.  But what the hell, you're hired!
Potential Client:  I'm really happy LegalZoom exists.  Now I have all the knowledge and know-how I need to incorporate subsidiary companies for my various business functions.
SuffolkAlum:  Why, yes, I learned all about the amazing LegalZoom in my studies.  I can help you fill out those simple forms, as LegalZoom has made my practice far more efficient.
Potential Client:  Well, I'm pretty sure I can handle this, but what the hell, you're hired!
Interviewer:  What we're looking for is someone to make routine court appearances in municipal and criminal court for our clients, who are mostly being charged with traffic tickets and low-level misdemeanors.  Does this sound like something that interests you.
SuffolkAlum:  Totally, bro'.  I did coursework in knowledge management.  I've got a smart phone, and I know how to use it.
Interviewer:  Shit, bro', why didn't you say so?
Interviewer:  You understand this job is in Montana, no?
SuffolkAlum:  You did see on my resume where my concentration included virtual lawyering, didn't you?
Interviewer:  Oh, my mistake.  Hired.

Beware the Legal Cyborg, friends.  Versatility and employability are about to go where no law graduate has gone before.


  1. These innovators are right about the transformative effects of digitization. It is actually an exciting time for young lawyers, with the exception of those who would like to earn an income.

    I am impressed that the Suffolk Law School technology clinic not only strives to help law students understand the new automated tools, but to actually create software, such as mobile web apps. I am hopeful that clinic will produce great things, such as an inexpensive computer app that will replace crappy law schools like Suffolk Law School. The app could have professor-avatars deliver recorded doctrinal lectures. It could incorporate all sorts of cool graphics and visual aids and interactive discussion groups and games. It could mesh practicums with online gaming in truly eye-catching and absorbing ways – maybe a whole World of Lawcraft, where users battle orc and goblin lawyers in heroic litigation.

    For those nostalgic for the traditional law school classroom experience, there could be settings for the professor-avatar to bully the user with sarcastic little jokes and idiotic questions about hypotheticals from fantasy-land. And maybe another setting with, unfortunately, no real world analogue, where the user gives the professor-avatar a swift kick in the ass.

    1. I'm pretty sure law will be nearly-eradicated as we practice through installed microchips that seamlessly communicate with a centralized computer network of judges and uniform transaction forms that are auto-filled based on imported information, and the ABA will still require that law school classes be conducted in person.

  2. Brilliant article!

    Tuition for full-time students in the "day division" program - are we referring to a mental health clinic - will face a gigantic tuition bill of $44,934 - for 2013-2014! Who wouldn't want to piss away a king's ransom each year, in order to learn about software programs that make it easier to practice law?!?!

    Then again, if you are dumb enough to enter $uffolk Univer$iTTTy Law Sewer, then you probably won't figure out that this same technology makes it easier to outright replace lawyers - until your third or fourth semester of law school.

    Dybbuk, I enjoyed your humorous comment above. However, LSTC is correct: if legal practice was 90% done by computers, the ABA pigs would still require that law school class be conducted in person by social retards called "law professors."

  3. Great comment above, Dybbuk.

    And that was a fascinating and innovative post by the Truth Center guy.

  4. Sounds like we'll need to get some Suffolk grads working on our electronic discovery technology!