Law without Lawyers: does legal education have a future?
In his recent UC Connect public lecture, Professor John Hopkinsexplained how the changing nature of law, the increasing cost of legal advice and the excessive formality of the legal system had left the way open for alternative ways to undertake ‘law jobs’, without the need of lawyers.
“From Blockchain to ‘Alternative’ Dispute Resolution, the way appears open for a legal system without the need for high priests of the legal profession to navigate it,” Professor Hopkins says.
“If current trends continue, the much maligned profession may die out, all on its own.”
Congratulations to Associate Professor Tom Cochrane who received the College of Engineering Teaching Innovation Prize recently.
The prize was for his ‘Preparing engineers for digital video communication’ framework, which enables students (and academics) to use video technology to communicate engineering results effectively.
Associate Professor Cochrane says communication skills are an integral part of an engineer’s formal education, but practice is needed to improve presentations.
“The ability to communicate effectively is a professional skill that all engineers should possess, but class sizes can limit students’ opportunities to do oral presentations and receive feedback on their skills.”
In response, Associate Professor Cochrane flipped the class room experience on its head by having students create video presentations to teach each other about different topics. Fellow classmates could then evaluate others’ skills, thereby learning skills for themselves in the process.
The technology is easy to use and allows for various learning and assessment opportunities.
“Self-awareness and practice are key elements for preparing engineers for digital video communication.
“Viewing yourself in a video can be daunting, but it does motivate you to practice and improve your communication skills,” Associate Professor Cochrane says.
This November, the SingularityU New Zealand chapter is hosting a SingularityU New Zealand Summit in Christchurch, focused on exponentially accelerating technologies and their impact on humanity. Lots of people ask what the heck is meant by “exponentially accelerating technologies.” So SingularityU made a comic.