University of Northern Ireland creates MSc Legal Tech to meet global demand


The multitude of global law firms moving to Northern Ireland and the growing indigenous sector have prompted one of the leading universities to create a new postgraduate course to help build a pool of legal technology talent .

The Legal Innovation Center at the University of Ulster has launched a masters course that straddles both a Master of Laws (LLM) and a Master of Science (MSc) in an effort to respond to the growing adoption of technology by law firms around the world.

This course, based at the university’s Belfast campus, is designed as 50% Computer Science and 50% Corporate, Financial and Technology Law, Law and Computer Science, Engineering and Intelligent Systems Faculties collaborating for the first time under one roof.

It enables the development of a truly multidisciplinary graduate: a technology-savvy lawyer or an IT graduate who has a unique appreciation for legal and financial services.

The course has been designed in collaboration with the industry including a number of major inbound investors in Northern Ireland including: Citi, Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, A&L Goodbody, Pinsent Masons, Factor Law , Allstate, iManage RAVN, Thomson Reuters, HNH, Davidson McDonnell, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PWC.

“The delivery of legal services is evolving rapidly and increasingly relies on overlapping disciplines in data science,” said Stephen Bartlett, EMEA Regional Legal Counsel and Global Co-Head of Securities Markets and Services, Citi . “The new Corporate Law, Informatics and Innovation course at the University of Ulster is an exciting opportunity to acquire the knowledge and practical skills that are in great demand as legal practices of all types are equipped with the resources that they need to support markets, commerce and society in the new data-centric age.

Modules include corporate law, derivatives and financial markets, technology and internet law, professional software development, data science and business intelligence.

The Legal Innovation Center is currently working with the A&L Goodbody Litigation team, Grant Thornton’s e-Discovery team, members of the bar, forensic and international online litigation experts to develop a new cutting edge module. on innovation in commercial litigation, reflecting the rapid pace of developments in machine learning technology tools and online litigation.

The courses are full-time or part-time, they can also choose to leave the course with an MSc, LLM, diploma or graduate certificate or some of those who are already in a profession may choose to enroll to improve in a specific module.

“There is no doubt that the application of disruptive AI-based technology is transforming the delivery of legal services,” said Jane Hollway, director of the Center for Legal Innovation at the University of Ulster. “Lawyers operate in this radically changed landscape and with that comes the demand for the multidisciplinary lawyer.

“Companies are looking for lawyers and professionals with computer skills or computer technologists with business skills – the ‘unicorn’ graduate. In accordance with this, technology graduates with an understanding of the corporate and financial landscape are in high demand. The contribution of our international industry leaders makes the course very practical and our graduates highly employable and skill-tested.


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