Law and the new industry in the world 4.0

Leonardo Espinosa Quintero

The legal profession, without a doubt and in a paradoxical way, is undergoing a transformation like few others in its history. The recurrent use of technology by lawyers is increasingly common to resolve the different types of disputes that their clients raise with them. Some years ago, law firms were surprised by computer systems that were capable of providing a large amount of information through databases. Among them, we saw the leadership that Lexis Nexis had for a long time and that was subsequently continued by other companies such as West Law, Hein Online, Kluwer, Thompson Reuters and in the Colombian context, Legis.

However, at present, these systems are very simple compared to the needs of the lawyer and the capacity of the information systems themselves. The growing advance of Artificial Intelligence has generated the appearance of programs capable of predicting, with some certainty, the possible outcome of a case.

The pandemic has potentiated the use and development of these systems. As an example, China introduced some time ago the robot judge called Xiao Fa, which is capable of analyzing up to 100 crimes, projecting sentences and standardizing sentences. This example was followed by Estonia, which has started to have judges that work with Artificial Intelligence for matters that do not exceed US $ 8,200. Fortunately, our country is not far behind and last year, in the midst of the pandemic, we witnessed how the Constitutional Court launched the Prometea system, which will serve to select protection actions, based on statistical analysis.

Despite the health emergency, the judicial branch, firms, lawyers and, in general, the legal industry adapted to function digitally, in order to guarantee the protection of the rights of the community and bring the administration of justice closer to the citizen, for example, through virtual hearings, not only in judicial offices but also in administrative bodies, with jurisdictional functions, such as the Superintendence of Companies and the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce, among others.

This context shows how firms and practicing lawyers must be prepared to have a special sensitivity and develop skills related to the use of technology. Two factors are important: the first has to do with the implementation of legal tech tools in the daily work of the lawyer, whether developed by the firms themselves or licensed to specialized companies.

Universities have a greater challenge in the training of today’s jurists, who need to be prepared for a digital society. For several years, the Sergio Arboleda University has implemented, in the basic cycle of its undergraduate degree in Law, subjects on innovation in law and digital law. In the same way, it constantly conducts events, congresses, diplomas and supports research hotbeds in the field of technology and law and will be the first university in the country to have a Master’s Degree in Innovation in Digital Law and Legal Tech.



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