Pop-up Class Links Blockchain and Law

Pop-up Class Links Blockchain and Law

One of our predicted Top 10 Legal Trends for 2018 is that Blockchain will continue to be a focus as attorneys take advantage of the technology for smart contracts and more. A recent pop-up class explored exactly that — how Blockchain can support legal work.

Founded in 2013, the Legal Design Lab brings together designers, lawyers and technologists to advance legal innovation and access to justice. Recently, the Lab hosted a pop-up workshop on “Prototyping Blockchain for Law.” The group collaborated with a Microsoft team, law faculty and lab coaches.

Day one of the design and technical training workshop was about making sure that students and partners had the same Blockchain knowledge. Jeff Ward from Duke Law and Aaron Wright from Cardozo Law provided activities for the participants. Per the summary:

“They also gave special attention to the world of smart contracts, and the burgeoning ways in which lawyers are integrating Blockchain and automation into transactional law work.”

The second day’s focus was on design. The Microsoft team posed one of the challenges, which was how could Blockchain and smart contracts be useful in contract management and procurement processes.

“The goal here was to not just jump straight to a solution, based on the hot new technology of Blockchain, but rather to ground the development in human needs, and human behaviors.”

The design day also considered how to prototype a complex new system of rules, governance, technology and numerous stakeholders. Students learned that they needed to accommodate for bad behavior in their governance design.

At the end of the intense, productive two days of work, the students had a stronger grasp of Blockchain and its growing value to the legal industry.

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