Will blockchain technology change legal education and reduce the need for lawyers in some practice areas?

Blockchain technology creates a platform for trust through truth and transparency for parties. Because the blockchain (at the least the public blockchain) is in fact public and immutable, the technology increases transparency, while at the same time significantly reducing transaction costs. Intermediaries, including lawyers, are replaced by code, connectivity, crowd, and collaboration.

According to Mark Fenwick, Wulf A. Kall and Erick P. M. Vermeulen (the sources of the above quote), blockchange technology will be a disruptive force in the legal academy and in the practice of law. To be “practice ready,” students and practitioners may have to compete with this development in the practice of property law, employment law and privacy law in the near future. Here’s the abstract to their article, Legal Education in the Blockchain Revolution:

The legal profession is one of the most disrupted sectors of the consulting industry today. The rise of Legal Tech, artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, and, most importantly, blockchain technology is changing the practice of law. The sharing economy and platform companies challenge many of the traditional assumptions, doctrines, and concepts of law and governance, requiring litigators, judges, and regulators to adapt. Lawyers need to be equipped with the necessary skillsets to operate effectively in the new world of disruptive innovation in law. A more creative and innovative approach to educating lawyers for the 21st century is needed.

What is blockchange technology? You can start with this Wikipedia article for an overview. — Joe

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