Ulster Uni’s A&O and Bakers-backed innovation hub launches lawtech LLM

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New masters degree combines corporate law with computing

Ulster University’s law firm-backed innovation centre has developed a new masters degree which sees students split their time between the schools of law and computing.

The Uni’s Belfast-based hub — which launched in 2017 thanks to investment from the likes of Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie, both of which have a presence in the city — hopes the programme will help foster the next generation of tech-minded lawyers.

The Corporate Law and Computing LLM/MSc covers topics including professional software development, data science and business intelligence, and perhaps more importantly, how these can be practically applied to day-to-day legal practice. Students will also get to grips with various lawtech programmes and have an opportunity to compete for paid placements at “leading international firms”, according to the uni.

As for the law school side, students will tackle areas such as business structures, corporate law, corporate governance, disputes and dissolution. The course also handles the basics of intellectual property (copyright, marks, patent and software licensing) as well as privacy, encryption and internet law.

“The School of Law teaches half the modules while the School of Computing, Engineering, and Intelligent Systems teaches the rest, so our graduates will sit comfortably within legal teams, tech teams, or at the intersection of both,” Mark Potkewitz, director of the legal innovation centre at Ulster University, told Legal Cheek.

Potkewitz, who spoke earlier this year at Legal Cheek‘s LegalEdCon North, continued:

“Whether somebody wishes to pursue a career in law and legal practice, professional services, or the tech industry, they will certainly finish our course with a transdisciplinary mix of knowledge and skills that will set them up for a career in a wide range of industries.”

The new offering comes amid a wider push among City law firms to improve the tech-savviness of their junior lawyers. Magic circle player Linklaters teamed up with Swansea Uni earlier this year to produce a series of tech modules for its trainees, while Clifford Chance launched a Tech Academy to help its lawyers tackle topics including coding, artificial intelligence and blockchain.

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Patient NQ

Yet another reason to study anything other than a traditional LLB. Brave new world.


Stop Susskind



Tv Gameshow fan

The Chase



People who are serious about practicing law for life need to stay ahead of the curve. Any student thinking they can go the straight LLB > LPC > TC route and make 6 figures with routine legal work for the next 40 years is in for a nasty surprise halfway though their career.

If you don’t want your job automated you’re going to need some sort of complex skill to add to your legal skills that’s not easily replicated by machines. Maybe you’re amazing with clients, maybe you understand technology in a way most lawyers don’t. The field is changing and there’s a Wild West ahead.


Life Lessons

The most important skill in modern legal practice is to be a world-class brown-noser.

Whether it’s abandoning all dignity and self-respect for qualification, promotion, being made up or client business, that’s the hallmark of a respected lawyer.



My new job is travelling back in time to assassinate the future leader of the human resistance. I think that should be pretty safe from automisation.


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