Even (Some) Law Firms Think Robots Are The Next Big Thing

Jan 31 2014, 12:26am CST | by

Even (Some) Law Firms Think Robots Are The Next Big Thing


I am proud to say that I helped found the Robot Block Party in Silicon Valley.  Now in its fifth year, the event brings together industry, academia, and the hobbyist community to demo robots in celebration of National Robotics Week.   We held the first one in Paul Brest Hall at Stanford Law School.  The second, third, and fourth Robot Block Parties took place nearby at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (where Stanford University develops driverless cars).  Each event drew at least a thousand visitors./>

I just received the invitation for this year’s Robot Block Party.  The venue?  WilmerHale, an international law firm.

This is not as anomalous as it may seem.  Thanks largely to Stephen Wu, the American Bar Association has a whole committee on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.  The law firm Ropes & Gray sponsored a law and robotics conference I chaired last year at Stanford.  And just the other day I had a lovely conversation with Garry Mathiason, a senior partner at Littler Mendelson, the largest employment law firm in the world.  Littler has an entire robotics practice group (as does Cooke, Kobrick, & Wu).

Why are law firms so interested in robots?  The very short answer is money.  Law firms are businesses.  They can see the ascendance of this technology and understand the competitive advantage of developing expertise in the legal and policy issues that attend it.  That is largely why I teach a course on robotics, law, and policy at the University of Washington.

I was pretty young in the 1980s and, while even then a fan, I did not exactly witness the robotics craze first hand.  But I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that, despite the media and investment frenzies that reportedly attended the period, law firms probably did not form robotics practice groups.  (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)  That a population as conservative as corporate lawyers are embracing robotics as a transformative technology is, on my view, a rather interesting sign of the times.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Rain takes toll on Pakistan's historical sites
Islamabad, Sep 16 (IANS) Pakistan's monsoon rain, which started Sep 3 and has ravaged human populations since then, has taken a toll on ancient ruins as well, media reported Tuesday. Archaeologists say the ancient...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Number crunching may make people selfish
Toronto, Sep 16 (IANS) People with a "calculative mindset" as a result of number crunching are more likely to engage in selfish and unethical behaviour, suggests a study. Repeated engagement with number-focused...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Matt Damon set to return as Jason Bourne
Matt Damon is being lined up to reprise the role of Jason Bourne. Deadline reports that the 43-year-old actor and director Paul Greengrass have entered into discussions with Universal Pictures to reunite for their third...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Alonso a hit after only two matches with Bayern Munich
Berlin, Sep 16 (IANS/EFE) Xabi Alonso's Bayern Munich career has barely begun, but Julius Caesar's "veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) applies equally well to the Spaniard's arrival in Germany, as he has...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
A novel way to spot dyslexia in kids
New York, Sep 16 (IANS) There could soon be a tool to spot kids at risk of developing reading difficulties before they experience the challenges as researchers have found that white matter volume in the brain is key to...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
20 militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Sep 16 (IANS) At least 20 militants were killed Tuesday during airstrikes in Pakistan's Khyber Agency area. According to an official, the strikes targeted Tor Dara, Tirah, Jatoi and Rajgal areas of the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ishikawa adds sparkle to Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship
Tokyo, Sep 16 (IANS) Japanese ace Ryo Ishikawa is set to add more sparkle to the already-strong field when the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup gets underway next week. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Thousands of Serbs greet silver-winning basketball team
Belgrade, Sep 16 (IANS) Serbian national basketball team that won silver medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup was welcomed here by tens of thousands of people in front of the City Assembly. Upon their arrival at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Eight killed in China road accident
Beijing, Sep 16 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and six injured Tuesday when a truck crashed into a bus stop in China's Hebei province. The accident occurred in Hebei province's Zhangjiakou city, Xinhua...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ghana appoints 2017 African Nations Cup bidding committee
Accra, Sep 16 (IANS) Ghana's Minister of Youth and Sports Mahama Ayariga appointed an 11-member committee to work towards securing the right to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2017). Additionally, six...
Read more on Sport Balla