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The LegalTech Bridge

Try to imagine a deep ravine with a fast-flowing river at the bottom. A modern bridge has been constructed across the ravine from the very best steel from the most modern factories. The bridge is deeply anchored in the rocks on both sides; on the bridge is a newly constructed asphalt road. On one side of the ravine are lawyers, and on the other are computer scientists. They call out to each other, but they could not understand each other. The distance is too great; the sound is blown and disturbed by echoes. In actuality, they do not really do their best to be understood by the other side.

Nothing stands in the way of the lawyers from entering the bridge and crossing the ravine, but they do not really dare. “The bridge is still so new. Is it safe? And what awaits me on the other side? Were there others who crossed the bridge before me? When I get to the other side, what’s in store for me? Those IT people are completely different people! Can they actually interact with carbon-based life forms? Why not stay on this side? Why should I take unknown risks? I earn a good living, my customers are satisfied, I have great colleagues, and life is good, right?”

The computer scientists do not really dare, either. “Those lawyers always make things difficult. I just want to develop software as I always did; then, others can take care of that legal nonsense. Contracts are written for lawyers by lawyers, not for normal people. I usually sign them unread. Give me XML; at least that’s nice and clear. If I cross that bridge, I won’t be able to get to work. Then, I spend all day explaining to lawyers how it works, and they don’t understand that anyway. If I show them a simple fraction from fourth grade, they will soon be talking about a difficult mathematical formula.”

I call this bridge the LegalTech bridge. Both computer scientists and lawyers will have to cross this LegalTech bridge; only by crossing this bridge can lawyers remain relevant in a digital world, and computer scientists design software acceptable by society.

There is a great need for more collaboration and mutual understanding! 

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