Magic Circle outfit teaches lawyers coding, blockchain basics

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Some Linklaters lawyers are now learning to code as part of the Magic Circle outfit’s newest technology initiative.
The pilot program involves teaching lawyers the basics of coding and blockchain, according to a report from Legal Business. The program is part of the firm’s launch of a global innovation team tasked to manage technology use at the firm.
The innovation team was launched by the firm’s managing partner Gideon Moore at its Berlin partners meeting in April, the publication notes.
It is led by partners Paul Lewis in London, Sophie Mathur in Singapore and Christian Storck in Frankfurt. Ideas coming from partners all the way to trainees are being considered by the group, the report notes.
Training lawyers about the basics of blockchain and coding was an idea forwarded by a trainee. Blockchain is a distributed online ledger technology and forms the backbone that enables the use of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies have seen increased interest from law firms as of late as financial institutions increasingly study its use in some transactions. Recently, US biglaw Steptoe & Johnson even launched a full-fledged multidisciplinary blockchain practice headed by former US government officials.
A Trans-Tasman expert task force has also been recently established to come up with a framework to regulate blockchain in New Zealand and Australia.
Meanwhile, Linklaters sees coding knowledge as essential especially for lawyers involved with technology.
“We see coding as very useful for lawyers who are involved in technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts and AI. But, at an even more basic level, it’s also just useful for lawyers to have a grounding in computational logic – it complements all sorts of traditional legal skills,” Lewis told Legal Business.

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