On What Law Firms Can Do With the Blockchain

"In reality, the blockchain will have a far greater impact on the social contract and the organization of society in general than the internet alone has had.  So where does that leave those law firms that recognize the significance of this technology and desire to best position their firms. We don’t know all the answers (or frankly any definitive ones), but we will offer a few suggestions that merit consideration by law firm management."

Where are we going? Exploring the Blockchain's Utility.

"Yes, blockchain technology, and smart contracts specifically, have been called ‘game changers’ for the legal industry, but where does things stand today? And what is it going to take to move from the theoretical stage to the practical stage where lawyers will be writing smart contracts and using the blockchain to implement them?"

The Next Level: Smart Contracts and Real Estate Deals

"Unlike the financial services industry, which has long embraced technology as a means to generate better bottom line profits (think algorithmic trading), real estate is an industry that has remained largely unchanged for over half a century (or several centuries in certain respects).  By way of example, we will illustrate how blockchain technology has the potential to radically improve the real estate industry — and in doing so, create enormous efficiencies, which will thereby reduce transactional costs and informational risks."

What is a Smart Contract?

"What exactly is a smart contract? While there is no universally accepted definition, most people involved with the blockchain would expect at least the following three elements in order to consider something to be a smart contract: i) the transaction must involve more than the mere transfer of a virtual currency from one person to another (i.e., a payment transfer), ii) the transaction involves two or more parties (as every contract must), and iii) the implementation of the contract requires no direct human involvement after the smart contract has been made a part of the blockchain.  It’s this last element that makes these contracts “smart,” and therefore, merits a more detailed discussion."

Blockchain Technology Will Transform the Practice of Law

" In the future, transactional lawyers may draft contracts that resemble how developers code software applications. In fact, future lawyers will likely need basic-to-intermediate training in coding in order to implement smart contracts based on the blockchain — a phenomenon that is already taking hold in the general population."