A Policy Agenda for Legal Education and Training and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Case of England and Wales


  • Andra le Roux-Kemp University of Lincoln




While the full impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution remains uncertain, it is by now generally accepted that highly intelligent technologies and their applications – such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, digitialisation, and big Data – will continue to fundamentally transform all aspects of our occupational and personal lives. Yet, in the realm of higher education policy and specifically with regard to non-STEM disciplines like law, thorough-going engagement with this most recent wave of technological development remains lacking. It is the aim of this article to set a policy agenda for legal education and training that is sensitive to the opportunities and potential negative outfall of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (now exacerbated by COVID-19), while also taking into consideration the distinctive nature of legal education and training in England and Wales. Set against the higher education policy landscape of England and Wales, a number of concrete recommendations are made for bringing legal education and training into the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These include, for example, a call for the radical transformation of the traditional, linear, and monodisciplinary LLB degree, addressing current and projected skills gaps and skills shortages by way of, inter alia, curriculum reform, and working towards greater mobility of law graduates between different legal jurisdictions and also within one jurisdiction but amongst different roles. These changes are necessary as legal education and training in England and Wales currently leave law graduates ill-equipped for the future labour market and do not adequately value and build on the job-tasks that legal professionals uniquely supply.

Author Biography

Andra le Roux-Kemp, University of Lincoln

Dr. le Roux-Kemp is an Associate Professor at the Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln (UK). She completed her education and training in a number of disciplines (law, medical anthropology, applied ethics, and musicology) in South Africa and Germany, and is currently enrolled for a DBA in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath (UK). Her career in academia commenced in academic administration as the Academic Manager of the Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University (South Africa). After completing her LLD degree (2010), she taught at both the law faculties of Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape (South Africa), and was an Assistant Professor of Law at the City University of Hong Kong (2014-2019). Her research focus and interest are in General Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, and her primary fields of inquiry are Criminal Justice (including Forensic Law), and Medical- and Health Law (including medical- and bioethics). With a keen interest in Critical Legal Theory, Law and Humanities, and Legal Research Methodologies, Dr. le Roux-Kemp explores the situatedness of law, and the theoretical and practical dynamics of legal change in its various spatial and temporal localities. As a transdisciplinary scholar, her research celebrates the intrinsic complexity of law and legal systems, whilst also recognising the inevitable and reciprocal synergy of law with other knowledge spheres.


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