Due to the global digital society, the world is increasingly operating in the virtual sphere, revolutionizing many industries including law. Technology has helped bring a profession rooted in traditional practices into the modern era. However, this digitization presents new challenges for the legal profession to conquer.
With people living and working more and more in the digital sphere, lawyers have adapted to face new legal issues. The reliance on technology in business and industry has made cybercrime as big a threat as national security risks, and data from DCMS reveals how four in ten companies (39%) reported cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the past 12 months. The rise of social media has also opened up new avenues for criminal activity, whether it’s vengeful pornography, racist abuse, grooming, or scams – and lawyers of the future need to be trained to do this. to face.
To be better equipped to deal with the problems of the digital age, law students need to learn the basic concepts of digital law, to answer the big questions of “should robots have rights?” “To” how can we reduce cybercrime? “
Digital skills are becoming increasingly essential across industries, and the law is no different. The need for basic digital skills in the workplace has increased with 82% of jobs requiring some form of digital skills, according to the Department of Education. The migration of evidence systems, briefing documents and even court testimony to the digital space shows how increasingly important digital skills will be to thrive in a career in law.
Many forms of legal advice are now accessible through apps, AI, and interactive websites, to name a few. For a versatile legal career, future legal professionals need to get used to using and developing such technologies – and training is needed to do so. Studying digital law as part of a law degree can give students experience in these areas and prepare them for the versions of legal careers the future holds.
At the University of Staffordshire, students can choose the digital law pathway as part of their LLB law degree course, learning both the legal challenges of the digital space and the digital skills to thrive in careers.
Digital research projects give students direct, hands-on experience in using technology to solve real-world legal problems. By exploring digital law avenues, students are not only well prepared for traditional legal careers such as attorney, attorney, or licensed legal executive, but can also embark on careers adjacent to law. For example, careers in corporate compliance and regulations as well as retail management are complemented by a deep understanding of digital markets, contracts and regulations taught through digital law.
Digital law is by no means intended to replace traditional law degrees, but rather is an additional educational pathway where students are prepared for the ever-changing discipline. Students should learn the basics of digital law to prepare for the legal challenges of the future and develop the skills to help resolve them.
Anna Garland is the Undergraduate Law Course Director at the School of Justice, Security & Sustainability at Staffordshire University.
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