16 February seminar: The Death of the Legal Profession and the Future of Law


Please join us for seminar #4 in the ‘Healthy Futures’ seminar series hosted by the Deakin Science and Society Network (SSN). You can join the conversation on Twitter by following us at @SSNDeakin and using the hashtags #SSNseminar #HealthyFutures.

Register here


This presentation identifies the five large-scale changes that have happened or are happening to the legal profession:

1. How technology solutions have moved law from a wholly bespoke service to one that resembles an off-the-shelf commodity;

2. How globalisation and outsourcing upend traditional expectations that legal work is performed where the legal need is, and shifts production away from high cost centres to low cost centres;

3. How managed legal service providers – who are low cost, technology-enabled, and process-driven – threaten traditional commercial practice;

4. How technology platforms will diminish the significance of the law firm; and

5. How artificial intelligence and machine learning systems will take over a significant portion of lawyers’ work by the end of the 2020s.

The article discusses how these changes have transformed or are transforming the practice of law, and explains how institutions within the law will need to respond if they are to remain relevant (or even to survive). More broadly, it examines the social implications of a legal environment where a large percentage of the practice of law is performed by institutions that sit outside the legal profession.

About the speaker:

Dan Hunter is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, and was previously the Founding Dean of Swinburne Law School. He is an international expert in intellectual property and AI & law, and the author of books on gamification, intellectual property, and intelligent legal systems. His current research is focused on the use of innovation and technology within law, including the use of AI in sentencing and criminal justice, the legal implications of autonomous systems, and the future of legal practice. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and a chief investigator in the $71M ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

About the respondent:

Rajesh Vasa heads translational research at the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute, Deakin University. He has over two decades of experience spanning both industry and academia with deep skills in artificial intelligence and complex software systems design. His career spans engineering, operations and executive leadership in organisations across the world. Rajesh is passionate about solving high impact societal problems. Recent work spans building intelligent homes for elderly, reducing traffic congestion, supporting decision making in safety-critical contexts, using gamification to improve dementia care, personalised education, and detecting spam and malware. Prof Vasa’s research focus is in constructing robust AI systems.

Watch the seminar:

Seminar will be available to stream on YouTube live. Access using the live link: https://youtu.be/Y6QRoJwbq5A

Date/time: Tuesday February 16, 10am – 11:30am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time, GMT+11)

Q&A with the speaker to follow. To send questions/participate in the chat, you’ll need to sign-in using a YouTube account.

The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on the SSN YouTube channel after the Livestream.

If you have any questions, please send to ssn-info@deakin.edu.au.