Students from the Bucerius Law School explore what’s European in Legal Tech at the ELTA’s first conference in Berlin
The European Legal Technology Association (ELTA) is the first association of its kind in Europe. Offering a platform specifically for the promotion of knowledge about, and the possible application of, technology and software supported solutions in the legal market (legal technology), as well as its use within companies, law firms, start-ups, and other initiatives active in this area.
Under the banner of „What's European in Legal Tech?“, law firms, companies, legal technology providers, start-ups, and individuals met to exchange views, ideas, experiences, and discuss practical solutions and approaches to Legal Tech. Considering that most investments in Legal Tech take place on the US market and are focussed on litigation, such as e-discovery, ELTA’s hosts were keen to discover what the “European” element in Legal Tech could be.
The conference was designed to identify and bring together the numerous small national and regional Legal Tech “campfires” to create a huge signal fire for European Legal Tech as well as providing a forum for discussing the challenges faced by today’s lawyers and professionals working in the legal field. It was amazing to see the future of the legal practice being discussed in such an international and diverse environment, as well as witnessing the growing demand for technology assisted solutions in interdisciplinary matters. Legal experts from law firms and companies such as Hogan Lovells, Dentons, SAP, CodeX – Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, Flightright and LegalGeek took part in the numerous panel discussions and offered insightful views on the future of the legal market.
The lively discussions which took place both during and after the panel discussions adressed many of the questions we all have in relation to Legal Tech: What are the implications of the application of artificial intelligence and automation software to our relationship with our clients? What are, the consequences, not only for the legal profession, but also for the wider community, and the inherent potential for social transformation. Cui bono? Who is using and ultimately benefiting from intelligent automation software: only consumers and companies or also lawyers? What sort of business models will be profitable in a largely automated legal market? How can a lawyer actually use artificial intelligence in his or her day-to-day work? Does artificial intelligence create an inescapable cost pressure on law firms, or is technology limited to specific applications?
Bucerius Law School’s student body was represented by LL.B. students Alexander Focke, Jakobus Schuster, Thilo Kerkhoff, Jan Willem Kothe, Jan Stemplewski, Niclas Stemplewski, Patrick Haede and Master of Law and Business students Eder Lam and Julian Grabiger who were selected to join ELTA’s first conference on June 15-16 2017 which took place in Berlin at the Spielfeld Digital Hub and von Greifswald.