The Future of Law: Facing the Challenges of Information Technology

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What is the future of law? Some lawyers respond that their future is bleak; perhaps that there is no real future, and that even now they struggle to earn a living. Others reply that the only certainty is uncertainty; the law changes and the practice of law is now changing rapidly too. A few say that the future is bright, but such optimism is rare. The ordinary citizen, on the other hand, too often has the most confident retort - the law is an ass and lawyers deserve no future. Richard Susskind's answer to the question is different - the future of law is indeed uncertain but it is exciting nonetheless and the key to managing the uncertainty lies in understanding the potential power of information technology. The law can be an ass sometimes, but it need not be, and if the future is indeed to be bright, then such old stereotypes have to be abandoned and a new vision embraced. And that vision is of a legal system transformed radically by IT, where legal service changes from being advisory in nature and becomes, largely, a form of information service readily available on the information highway. The Future of Law explains the power of IT and the benefits it can and will bring to the practice of law and the administration of justice. It demonstrates how the process of change can be managed, and the practical steps which can be taken to maximise the effect of IT. The message for lawyers is clear; in order to guarantee a stake in the legal system of the future, lawyers must adapt, and take responsibility for changing their working practices. And the message for everyone else is equally stark: they can now demand radically improved legal service; and if lawyers cannot provide this, many others will. The Future of Law is not a book about computers. Nor is it another book about using technology in the law office. It is about the IT revolution and its impact upon law reform, upon the role of law in society, and upon legal practice in the new millennium. Is the law to be th
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198764960
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 384
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Now known as a 'technology wizard', Richard E. Susskind is widely acknowledged in the field of computers and the law. He is a Member of the Board of Management and Consultant to Masons Solicitors, and Visiting Professor of IT Law at Stathclyde University.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction 1
1 A Law Unto Itself 11
2 The Advance of IT 47
3 Law as Information 71
4 Enabling Techniques 105
5 Leading Applications 149
6 Case-Studies 195
7 Critical Success Factors 223
8 Law's Future 265
Bibliography 293
Index 301
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