The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales

Le Roux-Kemp, Andra (2021) The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales. Journal of Law, Technology, and Trust, 2 (1). pp. 1-35. ISSN 2634-4343

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.19164/jltt.v2i1.1004

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales
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Abstract

While the full impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution remains uncertain, it is by now generally accepted that highly intelligent technologies and their applications – such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, digitisation, and big Data – will continue to fundamentally transform all aspects of our occupational and personal lives. Yet, in the realm of higher education policy and specifically with regard to non-STEM disciplines like law, thorough-going engagement with this most recent wave of technological development remains lacking. It is the aim of this article to set a policy agenda for undergraduate legal education and training that is sensitive to the opportunities and potential negative outfall of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (now exacerbated by COVID-19), while also taking into consideration the distinctive nature of legal education and training in England and Wales. Set against the higher education policy landscape of England and Wales, a number of concrete recommendations are made for bringing undergraduate legal education and training into the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These include, for example, a call for the radical transformation of the traditional, linear, and monodisciplinary LLB degree, addressing current and projected skills gaps and skills shortages by way of, inter alia, curriculum reform, and working towards greater mobility of law graduates between different legal jurisdictions and also within one jurisdiction but amongst different roles. These changes are necessary as legal education and training in England and Wales currently leave law graduates ill-equipped for the future labour market and do not adequately value and build on the job-tasks that legal professionals uniquely supply.

Keywords:Legal Education, Fourth Industrial Revolution, England and Wales, Higher Education Policy
Subjects:M Law > M250 Legal Practice
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
M Law > M990 Law not elsewhere classified
M Law > M110 UK Legal Systems
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
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ID Code:44841
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 15:43

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