HSF embraces the metaverse with new digital law course for students

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Exclusive: Completion certificates issued as NFTs

HSF’s Alex Cravero in the metaverse

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has embraced the metaverse as part of new digital law course for aspiring lawyers, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The global law firm has launched a series of free workshops exploring how lawyers help clients navigate novel legal and regulatory issues relating to techy-topics including the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

HSF says one of the sessions will be streamed live from the metaverse (a virtual 3D world in which individuals can interact with one another) in a bid to bring these topical issues to life. If that wasn’t enough, course completion certificates will be transferred to participants as NFTs after they have been shown how to “mint” them (the process of converting a digital file into a digital asset stored on the blockchain).

“Digital technologies bring about real-world opportunities and challenges for businesses,” says Alex Cravero, digital law lead for the UK, US and EMEA at HSF. “As the impact of technology and data on our personal and professional lives grows, so does our clients’ need for lawyers who truly understand these technologies and the strategic role they play.”

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Students completing any of sessions will also be in line to win two-days work experience with the firm’s digital lawyers, seeing first-hand how they advise clients on the challenges described during the course.

Cravero continued:

“Getting hands on with complex emerging technologies is vital if we want to demystify them. Their ever-increasing use is ushering in a new era of law and regulation, and the most successful lawyers of tomorrow will be those who understand and embrace this change. This course is an exciting and engaging step for students and graduates on their way to becoming a future digital lawyer.”

Applications are open to students and graduates in the UK, US, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, while a separate course will be run by the firm in early 2023 for students and graduates in Asia Pacific.

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Plz stahp.


Lawyer from the Future

Why are people so against this? All new technologies can, given enough premature / overhyped media attention, seem like vapourware, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have legitimate applications and uses. Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, metaverse, etc. – if you’re against this stuff merely due to not understanding how it works or what it’s trying to achieve, then you’re no better than the people who think 5G towers cause mind control. Have a little perspective, we ride cars and not horses any more for a reason.



Why do we need physical bodies if we can simply be uploaded to the Metaverse?


Casual omniverse observer

But this is precisely the point – if it’s still in its infancy, why is it being thrust into the general public? That would be like Apple selling the prototype iPhone to the public in 2004, without the ability to download apps, make calls, save photos, access the internet etc. That would have been utterly useless, and undermined the credibility of the product and the company.

What purpose is served by HSF trainees doing a course in the metaverse, with an NFT. The answer is: none


Lawyer from the Future

Thrust by whom? The media, because they want to generate hype and attract views / comments and topical stories sell. Law firms like HSF because, presumably, they have clients who are interested in this stuff or they expect to have them sometime in the (near) future and thus want to prepare.

As for the crypto / NFT / meta companies, undoubtedly there are some unscrupulous players who are getting people to buy their products without fully understanding them (or without the products being as advertised), but that’s as much a fault of the dumb consumer as it is of the predatory seller. But at the same time, drawing attention to these technologies increases the chance of real investors backing promising projects and talented people taking the industry forward in the future. Even if one project fails, lessons will be learnt and will inform the next one. That’s how the iPhone came about, it’s how most / all technological advancements came about, and will no doubt be how future inventions are made possible too.


Well done!

HSF showing itself to be behind the curve once again by launching this tacky presentation after the NFT hype was shown to be a pump-and-dump “greater fool” scheme.


Well dumb!

Working in commercial law involves swindling the greater fool for a fee…and tacky presentations are rife in the City


Well done!

You clearly need to brush up on your commercial awareness if you think that providing risk management services is useless and predatory as issuing NFTs to make a quick buck off someone else



Metaverse is not new long time ago loads of big companies were on second life, over the course of time they are no longer there



Ever since “Metaverse” became the newest buzzword, I’ve referred to it jokingly as “Third Life” — complete with even more corporate drudgery and lacking the novelty of Linden Labs’ creation.

I agree that everyone should have at least a basic understanding of these emerging technologies, but offering the certificate as an NFT just seems too … gimmick-y; I half-expect the next announcement to hype that they’re listed on the LindeX.


Conspiracy Theorist

Very alarming.

The BBC predicted that the average person will spend 10 years of their life in the metaverse. We are social animals by nature. This will lead to more mental health problems, addicton etc.

We’re slowly losing connection with the physical world. Ultimately we are the consumer product and they will profit from us.



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