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Media centre home > News > LawSync helps tackle new-look legal profession

Issued:02/07/12

Law students and professionals will be able to respond to the biggest changes to take place in the legal profession for a generation thanks to a new project launched by Sheffield Hallam University. 

LawSync will allow students and businesses to respond creatively to the challenges of a new-look legal service marketplace by offering an online resource where new developments and opportunities can be discussed.

The Legal Services Act 2007 has turned the concept of a 'traditional law firm' on its head, creating new opportunities for businesses such as supermarkets to offer legal advice to their customers.  It has seen the UK labelled as one of the most liberalised legal professions in the world.

The regulation of legal education and training is also expected to change following the current Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) which may significantly affect the way University law degree programmes are delivered.

LawSync is one of the first projects of its kind in the UK set up to respond to the new-look legal climate.

Organisers say the project, launched by Sheffield Hallam's Department of Law, Criminology, and Community Justice, will promote a better synchronisation between law as an academic discipline, professional practice, regulatory influences, and the expectations of consumers of legal services.

A teaching module will also be created that encourages students to innovate in response to developments in legal regulation, the use of technology, and consumer expectations. 

An accompanying website and blog aim to build closer relationships between students and innovators in legal services.

Law lecturer Richard Whittle, the creator of LawSync, said: "In an era when you can get legal advice from your local WH Smith and find phone applications that can potentially avoid a trip to court, it is vital that students are at the forefront of leading the change.

"This project seeks to place Sheffield Hallam at the heart of the conversation between academia and business, with a view to ensuring that students can better respond to changing market dynamics and increase job prospects in a world where many of the old rules no longer apply.

"They will be introduced to key ideas around regulation, service planning, and innovation in legal services. Examples include legal service apps, online transaction systems and novel service delivery methods.

"LawSync will help to produce graduates who are well placed to respond to the challenges in, and take advantage of, the opportunities that they will face in an evolving legal services market. "

The website is at www.LawSync.com and a Twitter page can be accessed at www.twitter.com/lawsync

For press information contact: Laurie Harvey on 0114 225 2621 or email pressoffice@shu.ac.uk