Manchester Law School makes the module on Excel, PowerPoint and Word compulsory on LLB

First to do it

Manchester Law School has become what is believed to be the first university to develop digital skills in areas such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word, an essential requirement of students’ undergraduate law degrees.

The “Digital Skills for Lawyers” module, developed in partnership with US technology innovators ProCertas, was designed by the law school’s strategic lead for education, Dr. Kryss Macleod, and includes three key components.

The first element develops and tests students’ skills in Word Contract and Word Brief (using Microsoft Word functionality for contracts and other legal documents) as well as Excel and PowerPoint in a legal context.

The second requires students to engage with a range of legal technologies, such as blockchain, to examine and critique the impact of these tools in the sector. Ethical issues are also front and center, in terms of professional codes of conduct, as well as broader ethical considerations that arise from the use of technology in legal services. Finally, the module requires students to reflect on and engage in their own professional development within this wider context.

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Professor Andrew Francis, Dean of the Law School, said:

“The deregulation of undergraduate legal education means that law schools, like ours, have the opportunity to work closely with different providers and companies to develop exciting responses that will effectively position students to meet the needs of an evolution of the legal services market.

Although this is the first instance where a digital skills course has become a core requirement of an LLB, similar state-of-the-art offerings have been doing the rounds for several years now.

In 2019, BPP University Law School partnered with digital legal services platform HighIQ to teach legal technology skills to its aspiring lawyers. Meanwhile, magic circle firm Linklaters has partnered with Swansea University to offer six online legal technology modules to its trainees and prospective lawyers.