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Law - Dean's Lecture Series

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Prof. Kevin P. Lee
Associate Professor of Law
Campbell Univeristy, School of Law


"The Citizen Lawyer in the Coming Era:  How Technology is Changing the
Practice of Law and What it might Mean for the Future of the Lawyer's
Role in the American Democracy."

The practice of law is undergoing a period of intensive change that is
being driven by recent technological developments.  These changes will
not only transform the day-to-day practice of law and the economics of
the legal services industry, but also will drive changes in the way
law itself is approached and the role of lawyers in the American
democracy.  While artificial intelligence has been applied to legal
research and practice for decades, the development of massive amounts
of data in the form of online legal research and inexpensive,
extremely powerful centrally located computing (i.e. cloud computing)
have radically increased its capabilities, raising the prospect of
significant automation in legal services.  The is creating disruptive
innovation in many areas of legal practice by creating the means of
providing higher quality legal services at reduced cost.  While a few
scholars have considered different aspects of the implications of
these technologies for professional ethics, little consideration has
yet been given to the broader question of what this new technology
means for the evolving role of the lawyer in the American democracy.
Professor Lee will consider the role of the human lawyer in an era of
automated legal services.  He seeks to define the limits of legal
automation by drawing from philosophical arguments for the limits of
empirical and probabilistic methods in the social science.  He looks,
for example, to Charles Taylor in arguing that the means by which
human beings experience life both exceeds and evades the types of
reduction necessary for the automation of legal practice.  this excess
or superabundance of meaning suggests that human lawyers will always
be necessary for judging the way that law is experienced and for
shaping laws in ways that meed the needs of persons and communities.
In this light legal education should look beyond training lawyers to
be immediately commercially exploitable, seeking to deepen and refine
lawyers' ability to experience the uniquely human meaning of law and
of living in a democratic polity.

College of Law Room Number: 129