Legal Engineering: Technology & Innovation in Legal Service Delivery

Quick Info
(2980.03)  Course
A. Hounsell; Adjunct Professor
3 credit(s)  3 hour(s);
Lecture, discussions, workshops. Not open to students who have completed Computers & the Law.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

The course will require a laptop but does not require any technical, coding or engineering knowledge at all. This course will: (a) introduce students to how client needs have pushed the boundaries of legal service delivery to include elements of information/data, computer technology and artificial intelligence as both inputs to work product and components of the work product itself; (b) give students the practical skills in breaking down contracts and legislation into decision trees, develop markups and workflows for contract development and negotiations, attain basic experience with common legal technology applications, apply design thinking methodology to legal problems; and (c) give students an opportunity for reflection on the theoretical and practical implications of these changes to the practice of law. Various topics will be discussed, including:  
1.        Business and technological developments leading to new avenues in the practice of law
2.        Design thinking: theory and practice
3.        Decision tree development through legislative interpretation
4.        Contract model development and markup
5.        Contract automation and smart contracts
6.        Artificial intelligence and its influence on:
a.        Data extraction
b.        Due diligence
c.        E-Discovery
d.        Judicial predictions
e.        Legal self-serve chatbots
7.        LegalTech startups and alternative career paths
8.        Advancing access to justice through automated tools
9.        No-Code application building for legal
10.Theoretical topics including:
a.        Rules-based legislative drafting
b.        The interaction between rules and legal reasoning
c.        Ethical implications of A.I. and automation tools
d.        Free speech and algorithmic review on social platforms