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Legal Tech

Professor Holger Zscheyge

Course Objective: 

This course on legal technology aims to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the global transformation of the legal services market and the legal profession. It explores the impact of digital transformation on the legal industry, including the rise of generative AI and its potential to replace human lawyers [or lack thereof]. The course also addresses the challenges of making a business case for automation projects and introduces the concept of legal operations and the role of legal operations specialists. Participants will learn about the automation of different legal workflows and gain insights from successful technology implementation cases. Additionally, the course highlights the opportunity to turn legal services into products using technology and explores the diverse career paths available in the field of legaltech. (The text above was generated by Chat GPT).

Legal Tech-Course intro with prof. Holger Zscheyge


The class will be interactive with a mixture of lecture and discussion, and problem solving topics.

The course contains the following topics:

Global Transformation of the Legal Services Market and the Legal Profession   
For more than a decade the global legal services market is transitioning from analog to digital. Being one of the last industries to undergo a digital transformation, the changes were subtle at the beginning, but are becoming ever transformational. This has a definitive impact on everything, including the business and operational models at the core of the legal industry. Without a profound understanding of the tectonic shifts in the legal industry it is very hard to understand the need for technology implementation. Digital transformation of a whole industry is nothing new in business, a lot of other industries went through this process in the last 30 years. But lawyers, traditionally conservative and resistant to change, experience stress and would rather cling to business as usual. This opens the legal industry up to outside competition from major players, like accounting firms and tech companies. We provide an overview of the transformational processes that have an impact on the legal service industry and the legal profession.
Duration: 60 min.
Generative AI and its impact on the legal industry
With the introduction to the market of ChatGPT in late 2022 almost all industries, but especially white-collar professions, came under attack by generative AI. Pundits expect that a big part of legal work could be taken over by algorithms, bringing up again the old discussion of robots replacing human lawyers. AI, especially large language models, will certainly have an impact on the legal industry and will change the way lawyers work. But will gen AI replace human lawyers? We will look into the perspectives of this technology.       
Duration: 60 min.
Making a Business Case for an Automation Project        
One of the largest barriers on the road to digital transformation, apart from lack of knowledge, is the lack of budgets. Most of the time lawyers are making decisions on what tools to implement, but the CEO or CFO decide to whether invest money in the automation of legal workflow or not. These decision makers have to be convinced by a cost-benefit analysis, something that lawyers are not trained to do. We will show you how to make a business case for an automation project.
Duration: 30 min.
Legal Operations Intro 
Lawyers should not have to deal with tasks that they haven’t been trained to manage. But in reality, especially in a corporate setting, lawyers are forced to deal with financial, technical and HR issues, communicate and collaborate with other departments on legal and non-legal projects, and handle legal requests by internal and external clients at the same time. In order to let lawyers concentrate on their core function – solving legal issues – a new class of professionals was introduced into legal departments (and, lately, into law firms as well). We will show you what tasks are managed by legal operations specialist, what is the job profile of such specialists and how they will work together with legal professionals.
Duration: 30 min.

Automation of Different Legal Workflows 
A lot of legal workflows can be automated to a certain extent with existing legaltech solutions. We show you the specifics of main workflow automation and the necessary tools on the market.

    • Legal Research
    • Practice Management
    • Timekeeping / Billing
    • Litigation Support
    • Knowledge Management
    • Contract Lifecycle Management (Pre- and Post-Execution)
    • Document Management
    • No-Code / Low-Code Tools
    • IP-Rights-Management
    • Predictive / Prescriptive Analytics
    • Consumer (B2C) Services
    • Data Privacy / Compliance / Risk Management
    • Cybersecurity

Duration: 30-60 min. each

Cases of Successful Technology Implementation             
Nothing illustrates the benefits of automation better than a case of successful implementation of technology. We will showcase how Russian and international law firms and legal departments achieved efficiency gains and solved operational problems by implementing technologies.
Duration: 60 min.
Turning Services into Products with Technology               
Lawyers are always looking for new business. Usually, to serve more clients, law firms must hire more lawyers, driving costs up. This universal bottleneck of consulting services can be circumvented by turning services into products, using technology. By bringing down the marginal cost of serving an additional client substantially lawyers can tap into an currently underserved market of billions of people and millions of companies. We show you how rather simple tools can turn a standardized service into a product and an easily scalable business.        
Duration: 30 min.

Careers in Legaltech      
For those who feel confined in the constraints of traditional legal careers – there are over 15 new career paths at the intersection of law and technology. And this number is growing. For the first time people with a law degree have a much broader choice of career options and better ways to balance work and life. We give you an overview over the main new career options, what the new job profiles look like and what salary range to expect.
Duration: 30 min.

Grading: This course is one credit--credit/no credit--in Pericles' LL.M. schedule. 90% class attendance is required for credit.

Required Textbooks: None. A list of required readings will be provided on the learning management system, and suggestions for further textbooks are all optional.