A “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR) will dramatically change current law students’ careers. Innovations in technology, business, and social structures will require different and more sophisticated legal services. Law school graduates will be responsible for harnessing, encouraging, and establishing legal controls that offer society the benefits of these new technologies while limiting the undesirable side effects. At the same time, the recurring, repetitive practice of law will begin to disappear as more work is done much cheaper and better by machines.
The 4IR presents extraordinary opportunities for law schools, the legal profession, and graduates, but it also presents significant challenges. To prepare students for professional practice and continuous improvement of the justice system, law schools will have to adjust students’ education and focus the curriculum on ensuring new competencies. Changing law school curriculum is generally more evolutionary than dramatic, but there is not enough time to slowly begin to prepare students for their professional lives in the 4IR. The Article concludes with several ideas about accelerating the process.
Steven R. Smith,
The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Legal Education,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol39/iss2/9