News from May 16, 2017
It was a first of its kind: At the beginning of May, our current MBL students had the chance to participate in a seminar on Legal Tech. This nascent industry brings artificial intelligence to the legal profession to revolutionise legal services: Chatbots that answer all preliminary questions, text-recognition software to ‘read’ and ‘understand’ tenancy agreements, search engines that browse through millions of documents from dawn-raids to find clusters of key words.
This industry could change the way lawyers work and result in less time spent on tedious tasks and more time actually thinking about the case. But it does not stop there. If technological advances continue, they could change the legal profession forever: Could robots answer basic legal questions? Will lawyers eventually compete with them? Software has outperformed judges in the US when they had to determine the bail to ensure that the accused turns up for the hearing. Chatbots in the UK have overturned thousands of parking tickets.
The two MBL lecturers combined academic and practical knowledge: Dr. Gernot Halbleib from the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession introduced the most important concepts of Legal Tech and how this industry will affect lawyers in the future; Dr. Daniel Halmer, founder of the German legal tech start-up wenigermiete.de, provided a case study of the challenges of setting up a legal tech business. Together, their presentations demonstrated the seemingly infinite possibilities of legal tech and the long road this industry will take. The students took the opportunity to learn about the future of law, about technology and its current limitations and – from a practical point of view – whether they pay too much rent for their apartment in Berlin.
A truly unique experience, thank you all for making this happen!