More universities are teaching lawtech – but is it just a gimmick?

Eager to be ahead of the curve, universities have started to offer specialist modules. Should lawyers believe all the hype?

Last month, the Estonian Ministry of Justice caused shockwaves when it announced “robot judges” could soon replace humans in small claims courts. Ott Velsberg, the country’s top data officer, has been asked to get started on a design – and with a pilot project likely to start later this year, Estonians may need to get ready for them.

Law is often seen as a slightly stuffy profession. But over the past three years there’s been increased interest in “lawtech”, which refers to the use of technology such as AI, big data and machine learning to provide legal services. Eager to be ahead of the curve, a number of universities have started offering specialist modules on the subject.

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