UCL FACULTY OF LAWS

LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.


LEGAL SERVICES: COMMERCE, ETHICS AND INNOVATION (LAWSG168)
Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Professor Richard Moorhead Other Teachers: Professor Richard Susskind
Content

Summary:

This course is about the future of legal practice and the future of legal work. It takes three themes: the commercial forces at work in the law; technology’s impact on legal service; and ethical dimensions to legal work as lenses to explore and evaluate current developments in legal services. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding innovation in legal services. Students will critically evaluate how legal service markets work, what forces drive law firms and legal businesses, the potential and limitations of innovations and the normative dimensions to change.

Understanding innovation is likely to be essential to many future careers in law and to understanding the rapidly changing justice system. As law becomes increasingly like a business, law students need to be more aware of the business of law, but they also need to be able to stand back and ask whether business forces operate in the clients’ and the public’s interests. When thinking about questions such as how much of a lawyer’s work can be taken over or improved by artificial intelligence, students need to understand what it means for them as future lawyers but also such changes mean for clients and society.

The course will be led by Richard Moorhead and with contributions from Richard Susskind, the world renowned expert on law and information technology. We expect to involve innovators from the legal professions and the legal services industry in some classes. We draw on a wide range of literature from law, economics, psychology, management and business.

Syllabus:

The outline class list (subject to change) is:

  1. Innovation, Professions and legal services: an introduction
  2. What are lawyers for? Theories of legal professionalism
  3. How regulatory frameworks shape legal services
  4. Economic perspectives on lawyer behaviour
  5. How legal services markets work: quality, cost and competition in legal services
  6. An innovation dilemma: are lawyers better than non-lawyers?
  7. The growth and significance of big firms
  8. Theories of innovation in legal services
  9. Alternative Business Structures: corrupting or improving legal services?
  10. A public interest dilemma about innovation: are lawyers more ethical?
  11. Re-engineering the law firm: legal process outsourcing
  12. Innovation and access to Justice
  13. Web based and Free Delivery of Legal Services
  14. Unbundling of legal services
  15. Crowd Sourcing of legal services
  16. E-Discovery
  17. Online Dispute Resolution
  18. Big Data
  19. Legal Prediction and Artificial Intelligence
  20. Innovation and Professional Ethics

Background Reading (optional):

Richard Susskind (2009) The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (Oxford: OUP)

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Small – less than 15 students
Who may enrol: LLM students, other UCL Masters students
Prerequisities: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: International Commercial Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Assessment
Final Assessment: 1x 3,000 word coursework essay (50%), Portfolio of 3 x 1,000 word pieces (50%)
Practice Assessment: Written work, group and tutor feedback on written work and class presentation, discussion in class

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2014

APPLICATION NOTICES

The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.