My last post suggested that the decline in law students was due in large part to a technological shock that has decreased demand for lawyers, at least at the price point law schools are producing them. Law schools need to respond. They must shape a curriculum that will prepare their students for the world of growing machine intelligence that was responsible for the shock. They also need to generate income from other programs to replace the law students who will not be returning.
In the coming age of law and computation lawyers will do better in fast-changing and high value areas. Machine intelligence succeeds through pattern recognition; in narrow, fast-changing areas, it has less data and thus fewer opportunities to identify promising correlations. In such areas, lawyers will have room to craft intuitively appealing arguments to regulators and courts. And when the transaction are of high value, even if machines are helpful in generating documents and precedent, human creativity will continue to add value.
Regulatory areas, particularly financial ones, are appropriate areas for more courses.
I just finished a science fiction book, Ghost Brigades, which is the second book in the Old Man’s War series. I strongly recommend it as well as the first book, Old Man’s War. I wouldn’t normally mention this, except something in the acknowledgements at the end of the book struck me. The author, John Scalzi, wrote: One of the reasons that the Ghost Brigades exists is that the first book in the series, Old Man’s War, was fortunate enough to have been praised online by folks whose taste in books is trusted by their readers. I thank all of them and add…