Globalisation, technology, and changing social (and digital) values, are dramatically and rapidly transforming the future of work. This is also true of legal practice and the future of lawyers and other law professionals. It is estimated, for example, that “nearly 40% of jobs in the legal sector could end up being automated in the long term”, and that new roles will emerge for which legal professionals at present are not adequately trained or prepared. (See here for a report by The Law Society, UK.) It is against this background that the article – The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales – sets 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. It is suggested, inter alia, that the traditional, linear, and monodisciplinary LLB degree be radically transformed to accommodate and produce interdisciplinary and T-shaped graduates, those are graduates with in-depth knowledge and expertise in law, together with wider knowledge and expertise in other disciplines, including an awareness of technology and its potential applications. This will allow for more resilient, adaptable, and multi-functional law professionals in future.
University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research
Dr Andra Le Roux-Kemp, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School