Does legal education have a future? – Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academia made by Professor John Hopkins as part of the Professorial Lecture Series in 2018.

Date:               Thursday, 5 July 2018, from 4.30 – 5.30pm.
Location:        F3 Forestry Lecture Theatre

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.


Law without lawyers: does legal education have a future? presented by Professor John Hopkins, School of Law.

Lawyers are popular, as Shakespeare’s most famous and much-repeated quote makes clear. However, the changing nature of law means that the extortions of Dick Butcher to “kill all the lawyers” may no longer be necessary.

The increasing cost of legal advice and the excessive formality of the legal system has left the way open for alternative ways to undertaking the ‘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 the high priests of the legal profession to navigate it.

If current trends continue, the much maligned profession may die out, all on its own. Given that the profession is facing such an existentialist threat, what does the future hold for legal academia?

Based upon the author’s published work, this presentation argues that the legal academy’s future is assured but very different from its recent past. Successful law schools will be those that shrug off their isolationist exceptionalism and embrace a multi-disciplinary future. In effect, the changing relationship between law and society will drive legal education back to its academic roots. The future of legal academia is the study, not the training of lawyers.

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua