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The end of lawyers?

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Richard Susskind will discuss the future role of lawyers and the administration of justice in an IT-based information society. He will suggest that the global recession has brought about an irreversible change to the legal market, one that will define the next decade of legal service. He will explain why and how some (but not all) legal service will become commoditised. Next, he will introduce two concepts – decomposing and multi-sourcing – that he believes will underpin the work of tomorrow’s lawyers. Then, pulling various strands of thinking together, he will explain the role that information technology and the Internet (including social networking) will play in transforming legal service, in improving our courts, and in improving access to justice. He will argue that these transformations present a fundamental challenge for those who teach law and engage in legal research. He will conclude by outlining new jobs for the next generation of lawyers.

About the speaker

Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to professional firms and national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of legal service, with particular reference to information technology. He has written numerous books, including The Future of Law (Oxford, 1996), Transforming the Law (Oxford, 2000), and The End of Lawyers? (Oxford, 2008), and he is a regular columnist on The Times. He has been invited to lecture in over 40 countries, and has addressed legal audiences (in person and electronically), numbering more than 200,000. Richard is Honorary and Emeritus Law Professor at Gresham College, London, Visiting Professor in Internet Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, and IT adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. A Scots lawyer by background, he holds a doctorate in law from Balliol College, Oxford, and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

This talk is part of the Arcadia Project Seminars series.

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