Bucerius Offers Free Virtual Legal Tech Summer School

By Dirk Hartung and Dan Katz

With a majority of legal practitioners and law students under some form of lockdown this summer, educational institutions need to get creative to reach their audiences.

Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, has decided to create a virtual summer school focused on legal tech and related issues. The program will be free of charge.

The program – Bucerius Legal Tech Essentials – traces its origins to the Bucerius Summer Program Legal Technology and Operations. This year, however, instead of visiting the beautiful Hamburg campus, an unlimited number of participants will be able to follow from their offices, kitchens or living rooms.

Over the course of six weeks from late June to early August, webinars of 60–90 minutes will be available on weekdays at 7:00 p.m. CEST. Participants can choose to attend all or just individual classes, though the program is designed for full attendance.

The topics covered reach from technical foundations, professional regulation and access to justice to entrepreneurship, legal operations and legal data science. 

  • After a short introduction on the legal ecosystem and business of law, Dan Katz (Chicago-Kent, Bucerius – and also Elevate) will kick the series off with a deep dive into artificial intelligence and legal analytics. 
  • Dan Linna from Northwestern will introduce computational law and rules-driven automation and Stanford CodeX’s Roland Vogl will speak about legal technology in Silicon Valley. 
  • Alma Asay will share her story from being a lawyer to successfully selling her startup Allegory. Liam Brown, CEO of Elevate, and David Perla from Burford Capital will present their perspectives on the legal industry and share their experience as serial entrepreneurs. 
  • Mary O’Carroll from Google, who is also the President of CLOC, will explain the rise of legal operations. 
  • Gloria Sánchez Soriano of Banco Santander will add the day-to-day challenges and lessons learned at a multi-national bank. 
  • David Cambria of Baker McKenzie will provide the law firm perspective on legal operations.
  • Valérie Saintot, Head of Legislation, Division at the European Central Bank will report how data visualization helps to keep track of over 20 year of ECB legal framework. 
  • Shannon Salter of the Civil Resolution Tribunal talks about the successful implementation of new forms of dispute resolution and justice reform. 
  • Richard Susskind speaks about the recent success of online courts and their importance in providing access to justice on a global level.
  • Bill Henderson will provide a framework for innovation diffusion in the legal industry.
  • Daniel B. Rodriguez and Markus Hartung are going to analyze regulatory activity with regard to digitally-provided legal services in the United States and Europe.
  • One particular set of webinars by scholars such as J.B. Ruhl (Vanderbilt), How Khang Lim (Singapore Management University), Corinna Coupette (Max Planck Institute for Informatics), Janis Beckedorf (Heidelberg University) and Dirk Hartung (Bucerius Law School) addresses legal science, but participants will not hear about contracts, torts or trusts. Instead, the organizers understand this as the application of methods from natural sciences to problems of law. So the topics include complexity theory, text analytics, network science and natural language processing. However, participants will not require prior knowledge as the lectures are intended as introductions.

This prominence of research-heavy content is due to the fact that the program is the inaugural offering of Bucerius’ newly founded Center for Legal Technology and Data Science.

In a major milestone for traditional German academia, which is notoriously normative and doctrinal, Bucerius Law School affirmed its longstanding commitment to changing legal education and research.

To strengthen a quantitative approach to legal studies, the school won over computational legal studies pioneer Dan Katz as the Academic Director of the Center. He will research and teach in close partnership with Dirk Hartung, who has been shaping the school’s technology and innovation agenda for over three years as the Executive Director Legal Technology.

The program is made possible by the generous support of Baker McKenzie.  Academic partners include Stanford CodeX and Illinois Tech – Chicago Kent College of Law.  

You can sign up for the program at buceri.us/techsummer.  

Also, here is a short video about Bucerius and the new virtual summer school.