DigiProf – A Digitalized Legal Profession: Challenge or Opportunity?

This project explores whether and how the above presented recent technological developments are affecting the legal profession and the nature of legal work. In so doing, the project provides an empirical study of large private law firms in four European counties (Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy). The aim is to understand whether and how large law firms in the chosen countries are affected by the current digitalization of the legal field and whether and how these are adapting to the societal changes they are facing.

The current technological advances in terms of digitalization, big data, and artificial intelligence have made their way in the legal field. Presently, there are solid reasons for believing that the increased digitalization of the legal field may have a significant impact on the structure of the legal profession and on the nature and organization of legal work. This is because digitalization is likely to further accelerating the economization and commodification of the practice of law, whereby lawyers are decreasingly disinterested brokers in society and defenders of the public good, but increasingly service firms at the cutting edge of the capitalist economy. Moreover, digitalization is likely to trigger new forms of stratification in the legal field. While some legal actors will benefit from digitalization and expand their business, either by cleverly integrating new technologies to reach more clients or by developing new niche areas of practices, the more routinized forms of legal practice are likely to face serious challenges from new technology-driven solutions and actors. 

The project will explore the concrete impact of the digitalization of the legal field on large law firms in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. The focus will be on seeking to explain how digitalization is modifying the internal structure of large law firms in the four chosen countries, especially for what concern the politics of professionalism, the organization of legal work, and the hierarchical structure of law firms. The project will further explore whether digitalization is introducing new actors, which might challenge the traditional control of jurists on the production of law and what consequences may this have for the future of the legal profession. 

 

 

 

  • Salvatore Caserta & Mikael R. Madsen: The Legal Profession in the Era of Digital Capitalism: Disruption or New Dawn? 8 Laws 1, 1-17

  • Salvatore Caserta: Digitalization and the Future of Law Firms, work in progress

  • Salvatore Caserta & Micheal Thumand: Machine Learning and the Legal Profession: An Empirical Examination of the Application of Watson at the Legal Department of the Danish Technical University (DTU)

  • New Technologies and Law Firms - An Uneasy Relationship: A European Perspective, Caserta, Salvatore, 2022, In: Law, Technology and Humans. 4, 2, p. 183-196.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers

Name Title Phone E-mail
Caserta, Salvatore Associate Professor +4535323126 E-mail

Funding

Dreyers Fond

DigiProf – A Digitalized Legal Profession: Challenge or Opportunity? has received a three year funding from Dreyers Fond.

Project: 
DigiProf – A Digitalized Legal Profession: Challenge or Opportunity?

Period: 2019 – 2023

Contact

Salvatore CasertaAssistant professor 
Salvatore Caserta

South Campus,
Building: 6B.4.52
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: +45 35 32 31 26
E-mail: salvatore.caserta@jur.ku.dk