INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF LEGAL EDUCATION: A PROVOCATION

Julian Webb

Abstract


This short paper explores, albeit in a preliminary fashion, challenges to legal education arising from the significant and radical impact of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) on law and legal practice. It uses the pervasiveness of ICTs to reframe the question of ‘law and technology’ from a philosophical perspective that sees information technology as an “environmental force”[1] that is capable of re-shaping our identity, agency and social relations, and hence constitutes a very significant means through which we make sense of the world.[2] The key question the paper poses thus emerges: how should we design the law curriculum when the law-technology relation is itself understood as a critical part of a continuing and profound transformation in what it means to be both a lawyer, and a human being?


[1] Luciano Floridi (ed), The Onlife Manifesto. Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era (Springer, 2015) 1; Luciano Floridi, The 4th Revolution: How the Infosphere Is Reshaping Human Reality (Oxford University Press, 2014).

[2] This contrasts with the broad but more limited, functional, orientation to technology which defines it (eg) as “any tool or technique, any product or process, any physical equipment or method of doing or making, by which human capability is extended” - Donald A Schön, Technology and Change: The New Heraclitus (Delacorte Press, 1967) 1.


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References


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