Wow, we all knew it would happen. A couple of years ago, I blogged about the presence of law firms and the emergence of legal issues within the virtual world. And I recently chanced upon this report by SF Gate (shamelessly reproduced because I like how it's written:)
More from Richard Susskind from Radio Berkman (which is the podcast production arm of Berkman Center for Internet and Society):
Law + Technology = Fewer LawyersIf you like the idea of the above equation, well, you are either looking forward to a Robot vs. Lawyer stand-off, or, like today's guest, you simply believe that law can be made better and more efficient through the use of software and applications to streamline repetitive legal tasks. Richard Susskind is the IT adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and author of the recently published (and provocatively titled) The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services. He recently sat down with the Berkman Center's Brock Rutter to chat about how technology might be able to simultaneously make the work of lawyers more efficient, reduce overhead costs, and improve access to justice.
Many similar points from his presentation last month, but worth listening for the DJ's facilitation. Main points:
- Much legal work will be automated, outsourced, or even handed over to end-users
- Technology can drive lawyers out of jobs, but also create many new opportunities (such as access to justice for the poor)
- Lawyers will still have a role over the creation of these systems: lawyers will not disappear, but will take on different roles.
- Emphasis will go away from one-on-one traditional direct consultation, but via cheaper tools created or maintained by lawyers. For example: online compliance, decision tree for online document creation, end-users input through Web 2.0 interaction.
- Lawyers will deal more with high level programmers through new ideas of providing services
On 25 May, the Peace Palace in The Hague hosted the European launch of the UN Commission of the Legal Empowerment of the Poor report, Making the Law Work for Everyone (see my previous post), organised by the Hague Academic Coalition in partnership with theHague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law, Tilburg University, the Institute for Social Studies and the Centre for International Legal Cooperation. Along with various international experts and policy-makers, former US Secretary of State and co-chair of the Commission, Madeleine K. Albright spoke on the need to empower the poor through legal rights.
In addition to the mircojustice4all website, as well as Micojustice in Bolivia and now Peru, the microjustice folks have created a portal to all things microjustice at http://www.microjustice.org/. Hmmm.... here's hoping that maybe at some point in the future, I will be listed there as well! :)
(Updated 2/27/10) Here are the resources listed so far:
WELCOME TO MICROJUSTICE
International Legal Alliances (ILA) Microjustice for All | www.microjustice4all.org
Coordinating and network organisation for implementation of microjustice country programs, implementing microjustice in the field.
Microjusticia Bolivia | www.microjusticiabolivia.org
Country Program implementing microjustice in Bolivia
Microjusticia Perú | www.microjusticiaperu.org
Country program implementing microjustice in Peru
Micro Justice Initiative | www.microjusticeinitiative.com
Platform for microjustice
Tilburg University | www.tilburguniversity.nl/TISCO
Conducting research in dispute resolution system design.
UNDP Legal Empowerment of the Poor | http://www.undp.org/legalempowerment/
Report of the UN Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor
Wow, some time ago, I blogged briefly about the presence of law firms in Second Life as well as possible emerging legal issues WITHIN the virtual world. I've since left that virtual life (I believe my Avatar is still standing immobile somewhere), because of my real travelling life, but I chanced upon this story recently. I didn't know that there was a real case started last year with a cause of action arising in Second Life:
(reproduced from SF Gate's brief here:)
(reproduced from SF Gate's brief here:)