Educating Deal Lawyers for the Digital Age

April 1, 2024

Courses and programs that address law and emerging technologies are proliferating in U.S. law schools. Technology-related issues pervade the curriculum.  This Essay presents two instances in which new technologies present challenges for deal lawyers.  It explores how exposing students to closing opinions practice can prepare them to engage these challenges.  Both examples involve common commercial contexts and lessons relevant to students of business associations and of the Uniform Commercial Code.  The first, which deals with enforceability opinion letters, presents technical legal difficulties arising from recent developments in law and technology.  The second, involving complex doctrines at the heart of financial markets, presents ethical questions for students, attorneys, and lawmakers to digest.  These examples show how thoroughly emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers can implicate business law doctrine and practice and, consequently, how imperative it is that legal education prepare students for practice in the digital age.