Universiteit Leiden

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Centre for Legal Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Centre for Legal Entrepreneurship and Innovation focuses on stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation in the legal sector. It builds a bridge between study and practice.

Worldwide the legal services industry faces major challenges due to technological and social developments. Especially the application of technology such as Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing has had a major impact on the industry.

As in many businesses, this technological development started with the automation of administrative processes. In doing so, manual work was replaced by automated systems. Next came the development towards computerization. Information that was first reserved to knowledge workers was made widely available, for example via the internet. The current phase is called digitization in which legal processes are (almost) completely executed by systems. The introduction of all these forms of technology in the legal field is collectively referred to as 'Legal Technology', or 'Legal Tech'.

Today, Legal Tech has developed into a business where start-ups disrupt the legal services industry. This is done, for example, by offering online services that involves no actual intervention by a lawyer or notary, such as the online drafting of an employment contract. Or, by using Data Analysis, to develop knowledge about the future demand for new legal services.

Legal entrepreneurship and innovation have a significant impact on the organization and business models of legal service providers. This also requires an adaptation in the knowledge and skills of lawyers in training. The Leiden Faculty of Law is responding to this development by establishing the Centre for Legal Entrepreneurship and Innovation, linked to the Department of Business Studies. The Leiden Law Faculty is the first in the Netherlands with a specific focus on legal entrepreneurship.

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