NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law, a national leader in modern legal education, is excited to announce that it is joining the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC) along with over 120 major law firms, corporate legal departments, software companies and universities. OU Law will work with the consortium to develop and promote standards for governing how blockchain technology is used in the legal field.
“Blockchain is rapidly impacting every major area of business in almost every industry, including law,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “By joining the GLBC, OU Law will be positioned at the forefront of blockchain development as we work alongside the leading experts in this field to explore applications for the legal sector. Working with the consortium is the latest step in OU Law’s commitment to providing an unmatched education in an innovative learning environment.”
In conjunction with the announcement, OU Law will host a webinar at noon Central Standard Time on Nov. 8 with David Fisher, director and founder of the GLBC, who will discuss practical use cases for blockchain in the legal industry. The webinar is open to anyone and can be accessed here.
Fisher is the founder and CEO of Integra Ledger, a blockchain for the global legal industry. He also recently co-founded the Global Legal Hackathon, which was the largest legal hackathon in history, taking place in 40 cities and 22 countries around the world.
“We are so pleased to have the University of Oklahoma College of Law involved,” Fisher said. “Participation in the GLBC at the university level creates great opportunities for students to learn more about blockchain and better prepare for the new world of legal services. I’m looking forward to the GLBC webinar being hosted by OU on Nov. 8 and hope this is the first of many collaborations.”
Leading the college’s collaboration with GLBC is the OU Law Center for Technology and Innovation in Practice, which engages with academics, policymakers and industry experts to research and implement the practical use of technology in legal education. The center administers OU Law’s Digital Initiative, designed to prepare students for present-day legal practice through technology training and innovative thinking.
“Blockchain is an incredible technology opportunity for the legal industry way beyond cryptocurrencies,” said Kenton Brice, director of technology innovation at OU Law, who oversees the Center for Technology and Innovation in Practice. “From smart contracts to record authentication, lawyers must become cognizant of the variety of applications this technology affords. We look forward to engaging with the GLBC and its members to discover how our students can advance the legal blockchain conversation in modern practice.”
OU Law student Brandon Landt, a research assistant for the Center for Technology and Innovation in Practice, explained how joining the GLBC offers students not only the chance to learn more about blockchain potential, it allows them to take part in the discovery process.
“By harnessing this technology, lawyers have the power to streamline traditionally litigious processes. Whether it be real-time compliance monitoring, record integrity, data sovereignty, cryptocurrency or even self-executing contracts, graduates who understand these applications will be in a unique position to add value and efficiency to their respective firms,” Landt said. “Joining the GLBC provides a rare avenue for OU Law students to discover those possibilities and develop new legal innovations, all while receiving guidance from experts across the world.”
OU Law: A Pacesetter in Modern Legal Education
OU Law has earned the reputation as one of the top law schools for producing practice-ready graduates. In 2014, OU Law became the first law school in the nation to launch a college-wide Digital Initiative, integrating technology into all areas of legal education. The three core elements of the Digital Initiative are:
- the common platform of the iPad with Apple Pencil, given to students at no cost;
- a digital training curriculum that educates OU Law students to use technology for productivity in law school and in practice; and
- the Inasmuch Foundation Collaborative Learning Center, an 8,000-square-foot space in the law library dedicated to promoting collaboration and 21st century skills.
Just within the last year, OU Law’s Digital Initiative has earned further national recognition:
- Apple Inc. named OU Law an Apple Distinguished School for 2017-2019 in honor of the college’s efforts in promoting collaboration and innovative teaching
- Brice and his work through the OU Law Center for Technology and Innovation in Practice have gained national exposure, including features in Above the Law’s Law2020 series, the ABA Journal, and in two case studies by ROSS Intelligence. Brice was included in the 2018 Fastcase 50, an award that honors the top 50 legal technology leaders in the nation.
To learn more about OU Law’s Digital Initiative, visit law.ou.edu/digitalinitiative.
About the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium
The GLBC is comprised of approximately 125 large companies, law firms, software companies, and universities that have joined together to develop standards to govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law. The consortium focuses on a range of issues, including data integrity, authenticity, security, and privacy for contracts and documents, interoperability between corporate legal departments and law firms, and productivity improvements in the operation of legal departments and law firms. For more information about the GLBC, visit legalconsortium.org.
About the OU College of Law
Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is one of the nation’s premier law schools. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 800 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu.
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