BILETA conference 2015

by Paul Maharg on 10/04/2015

Am giving a paper at BILETA 2015, entitled ‘Disintermediation and legal education’.  Slides up on Slideshare and at the Slides tab above.  Abstract:

Disintermediation is a concept well-understood in almost all industries. At its simplest, it refers to the process by which intermediaries in a supply chain are eliminated, most often by digital re-engineering of process and workflow. Amongst its many effects it can result in streamlined processes that appear more customer-focused. It can also result in the destruction of almost entire industries and occupations, and the re-design of many aspects of client-facing activity. To date, legal education has not given much attention to the process. In this article I explore some of the theory that has been constructed around the concept in industries and professions. I then examine some of the consequences that disintermediation is having upon our teaching and learning, and on our research on legal education, as part of the general landscape of digital media churn; evaluate its effects (particularly with regard to regulation) and show how we might use aspects of it in three versions of the future of legal education.

I hadn’t given the issue much in the way of thought before, but it was Richard Susskind’s paper, Provocations and Perspectives, written for LETR, that focused some questions for me.  The more I researched the issue within the context of legal education, the more important it seemed for us, not just in understanding the future of legal education, but also its intellectual, political and economic history.  The slides serve as an outline for a chapter in a book I’m writing on Genealogies of Legal Education.  

More later on sessions from the conference – too busy to liveblog, but fascinating presentations and arguments.

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