Applied Legal Tech Design

In the recent past, various technical solutions have been offered at different levels of legal application (Legal Tech). Innovations in the field of Artificial Intelligence increasingly allow not only the collection and analysis of complex legal information in natural language, but also the output of a practical legal advice.

With regard to legal education in Germany, there is a considerable backlog demand. Legal Tech does not take place at all in the education of the vast majority of students. However, there are indications that a legal education ignoring the technological changes described above will no longer be up to date in the foreseeable future, as the professional profile and requirements profile of the legal practitioner will change on a permanent basis.

The project focuses on the possibility for students to acquire new competences relevant to digital change. This acquisition should not take place in the context of merely providing knowledge about legal tech. Rather, the students should analyse legal questions within one semester, in particular those arising from the digital change, and create their own Legal Tech application (hereinafter: “Legal Tech App”) using a software solution. The Legal Tech Apps will each focus on a so-called Legal Expert System, which depicts the thinking and acting of a legal user in connection with a specific legal issue.

In the first part of the semester, the focus is on teaching the basics of the regulations of a certain legal field (e.g. IT law or data protection law), the conception of legal tech design (legal system design) and the basic mastery of authoring tools as a central design element of software. Both the operation of the development interface and the elements of the graphical user interface can be edited without requiring any special programming knowledge.

By the end of the semester, students will have created a functioning legal expert system. Teams of three or four students are formed to work on the individual projects. The requirement to work in teams promotes individual strengths and competencies and also offers a direct, productive learning experience, which is atypical for teaching law.

A closing event is planned at the end of the course during which the participating students will present the results, which will be evaluated by an expert jury.