Digitalization in legal contexts


The new WU Legal Tech Center (LTC) looks at the effects of digitalization, privatization, and economization in the field of law.

Legal tech is no longer a future vision – it’s a present-day reality capable of taking the evolution of legal practice to a whole new level: For example, legal tech allows consumers to use apps for spotting disadvantageous clauses in contracts, it helps companies to fully digitalize their compliance activities, and it supports public authorities by providing intelligent IT systems that can prepare administrative decisions. However, efforts to integrate state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchains, and machine learning into legal practice also lead to far-reaching changes in how legal professionals work. What changes does the use of such technologies bring for citizens? What conditions and frameworks must be created for using legal tech tools, and what social, political, or other challenges result from the use of these technologies? And what does this mean in a European context? These are the questions that WU’s new Legal Tech Center sets out to answer.

The risks and opportunities of legal tech

The LTC is headed by Christoph Krönke, professor of public law with a special focus on public business and digitalization law, and Sophie Martinetz, managing partner at Future-Law. This is how Christoph Krönke outlines the mission of the LTC: “A legal framework is needed that takes both the risks and the opportunities of legal tech into account. Our main goal at the LTC is to demarcate and develop this legal framework.” “We are interested in questions related to the digitalization of law, not so much the legal aspects of digitalization per se. Legal tech involves more than just looking at software tools. It’s about the global transformation of an entire industry. This change management process has an impact on (business) structures and people worldwide,” adds Sophie Martinetz.

A focus on research and input for legal tech applications

The LTC looks at the entire scope of WU’s legal research and expertise. Primarily, it focuses on projects that investigate the legal framework of legal tech. In addition, the LTC also plans to provide academic input for specific legal tech applications, for example in the financial markets, the energy and health care sectors, public administration, and the judiciary.

For more information about the Legal Tech Center please see: (in German)

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