Law students become 21st century pioneers
Law 31 July 2013
The universities’ ReInvent Law London 2013 conference - the culmination of their 21st Century Law Practice London Summer Programme - found itself making hashtag headlines on the social media site.
Westminster Law School is already gearing students up for the future with the introduction of a new module, 21st Century Law Practice in the UK, which will focus on new approaches to law and legal services.
Twenty students, ten each from the UK and US universities, got their first taste of what this module would deliver when they attended the summer school to look at how they could use new technology to advance law structures and become entrepreneurial lawyers. They also looked at how they could make legal services and justice more accessible to the public.
The summer school culminated in the ReInvent Law London 2013 Conference, which featured engaging talks from leaders in law, technology, and business examining the future of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in the legal services industry.
“We wanted as academics to create a forum where people who had new ideas were able to present them in a punchy way,” said Dr Lisa Webley, Professor of Empirical Legal Studies at Westminster Law School and one of the conference speakers.
“We made it as technologically easy as possible, with two large twitter screens and we had people tweeting all day. We were the top trending hashtag on twitter through the afternoon.”
One group of students won the vote by their peers to pitch their forward-thinking idea at ReInvent before an audience of esteemed scholars, legal professionals, entrepreneurs and technology experts from around the globe.
“Lawyers are regulated to the point where it stifles innovation,” said Michigan State University College of Law Professor Renee Newman Knake, co-coordinator of ReInvent Law London 2013. “Law is about imagining possibilities and gathering the game changers who will build the future of the industry.”
For the students, there was the added bonus of networking at the highest level, with the outcome of one getting a paid internship, seven others getting other paid legal writing roles and two others unpaid invaluable work experience.
“Providing new ways of delivering legal services is part of our public legal information responsibility,” said Professor Webley. “As educators and lawyers we haven’t always been very good at educating the public about the law - their legal rights and responsibilities. We often forget that people may well be able to do a lot to negotiate positive outcomes for themselves if they have the right information and basic advice. So if we can help people through developing cutting-edge legal practices, than all the better.”
- Students wishing to learn more about new approaches to law and legal services delivery can study a new module, 21st Century Law Practice in the UK, as part of their LLB degree programme. On this module students critically evaluate the key concepts, provisions and practice areas that form the core 21st century law practice with a particular focus on the innovations associated with regulatory change and legal service advances.
- A full list of speakers and presentation synopses can be found at the ReInvent Law London 2013 website.
- ReInvent Law London 2013 was co-hosted by Michigan State University College of Law, ReInvent Law Laboratory, and the University of Westminster Law School. The event was exclusively sponsored by LexisNexis.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.