Virtual Legal Assistants (VLA), AI-powered research tools and cybersecurity law — these are just a handful of technology trends expected to hit the global legal sector in the future.
World-leading research company Gartner predicts that VLAs will handle 25% of internal requests for legal departments at large enterprises by 2023.
The digital age is upon us, which means law schools need to start fine-tuning their graduate law programmes to prepare legal professionals for a tech-infused future.
LA-based lawyer and consultant Charles Lew couldn’t agree more.
Lew knows what it takes to keep on top of today’s digital trends as he owns and operates multiple hospitality businesses and is a partner at KagLew, a boutique restaurant consultancy and law firm.
Speaking to Forbes, Lew said many students choose to attend future-driven law schools because technological advancements will transform the way companies run.
“From e-discovery and litigation analytics to artificial intelligence and machine learning, there has never been a more exciting and dynamic time to be a member of this profession,” said Lew.
Lew also said that the best law school experience does not confine students to a career of practising law, but rather introduces them to the lifelong study of practising life.
Graduate law programmes shouldn’t restrict students to the teaching of a single perspective. Instead, Lew said that students should learn the constantly evolving complexities of the modern world, which requires a “holistic, comprehensive and malleable approach to problem-solving”.
Here are five law schools that inspire legal professionals to stay ahead of the curve in today’s competitive job market.
Law students must be ready for a digital future. Many new-collar jobs are emerging in the workplace that require technical and soft skills.
In his new role as Executive Director of the Intellectual Property (IP) Center at the Franklin Pierce School of Law, former Vice President and Chief Patent Counsel at Microsoft Micky Minhas J.D./LL.M. ’97 plans to connect the law school to the world of IP.
“I look forward to facilitating the real-world interactions students need to get ahead while also fueling growth in our IP programs to match marketplace demands,” he said.
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Franklin Pierce School of Law has the graduate law programmes that equip students with just that.
The Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree involves practice-oriented instruction and students can choose from a robust selection of courses such as Criminal Law, Litigation and Business Law.
Across campus, there are hands-on workshops and events for students to improve their practical know-how and soft skills. These may be found at the Intellectual Property and Transaction Clinic, the International Technology Transfer Institute, the Intellectual Property Summer Institute and the Silicon Valley immersive course.
And with an alumni network that spans over 80 countries and includes graduates from Fortune 100 companies, national IP offices, and multinational law firms, you know that this is a law school built for success.
The Boston University School of Law motivates aspiring lawyers to fulfil their career aspirations through its future-focused graduate law courses.
For instance, the Graduate Tax Programme at Boston University (Tax LLM) offers plenty of employment and networking opportunities students can use to further their careers.
This flexible degree allows students to choose from over 35 challenging elective courses so they can tailor their learning to their own professional goals and push their practical experience further.
In addition, all BU Law students can participate in the Pro Bono programme where they provide voluntary legal services to persons of limited means or to organisations that serve them or other underrepresented groups.
LLM students who successfully complete the Pro Bono pledge, by conducting just 18 hours of work, are rewarded with a special designation on their final transcript.
For further information about the Boston University School of Law, click here.
If you’re a law student or legal professional looking to sharpen your skills and earn practical experience for the future of work, Emory University’s School of Law is a great starting point.
Here, you will find graduate law degrees that help you to build a rewarding legal career, enhance your current skill set and introduce you to tech-based trends that influence the global landscape of law such as the rise of virtual legal assistants (VLA).
Courses are taught by a global faculty of world-class scholars. Many Emory Law faculty members are Ivy-League educated and highly experienced, which means students can enjoy unmatched guidance and support from their lectures.
LL.M. students at Emory also develop and pursue their career goals with the help of Emory Law’s Career Centre.
At the Centre, students can meet one-on-one with a career counsellor who networks with surrounding employers to provide a myriad of job search resources and training.
Ready to embrace the digital future with Emory University? Find out more here.
Durham Law School prepares students for a digital future through a diverse suite of graduate law programmes.
One such programme is the LLM in International Law and Governance. This degree comprises four compulsory modules, which ensures students receive an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of international law and governance and become familiar with current and future debates in the field.
Optional modules then allow students to develop subject-specific knowledge as the course progresses. Examples include Global Financial Law, Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective, International Counter-Terrorism and more.
Postgraduate courses at Durham are mainly conducted through small group seminars to encourage participation, improve communications skills and benefit from close contact with experienced practitioners.
Therefore, an LLM in International Law and Governance will provide you with an excellent foundation to pursue a future-driven international law career.
Need to know more? Ask Durham Law School for further information today.
In Finland, the University of Helsinki readies students from across the globe for the future of law.
Its aim is to produce qualified, ethically responsible legal professionals for both the Finnish and international labour markets through high-quality research and research-based teaching.
In addition to Finnish and Swedish language graduate law programmes, the Faculty also offers master’s programmes in International Business Law and in Global Governance Law to offer a broad spectrum of the subject.
Apart from regular courses and seminars, you can also engage with the Faculty’s in-house start-up: The Helsinki Legal Tech Lab.
This Lab combines hands-on experimentation with legal technology with in-depth academic research. It will also connect you to practical workshops and networking events where you can meet potential employers.
Eager to learn more? Click here to contact the Helsinki Faculty of Law.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International