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Law for a Flat World: Building Legal Infrastructure for the New Economy

Gillian K Hadfield of USC

Monday, April 13, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center Conference Room

This event will be webcast live at 12:30PM ET.
RSVP Required (rsvp@cyber.harvard.edu)

While complaints about spiraling legal fees are widespread, general counsel in our most innovative firms are voicing a different, more troubling, complaint:  they can’t buy the type of legal inputs they need in the current legal marketplace.  The problem they are identifying is a deeply structural one.  Adapted to the needs of the standardized mega-firm managerial economy of the past century, the legal infrastructure available to support innovative business models is badly out of step with the demands of a global web-based environment.  In this presentation I’ll talk about how and why our legal infrastructure is outdated and ill-suited to the new economy, looking mostly to the non-market or protected-market mechanisms on which we rely for the production of legal inputs.  These mechanisms leave us with legal solutions that are overly complex, slow to react, excessively costly and often misguided about the on-the-ground realities of the networked, high velocity, heterogeneous, risk-laden and fluid economic relationships that characterize the new economy.  Opening up the mechanisms for producing law and legal inputs to a greater role for market-based solutions is a central challenge for legal infrastructure development in the 21st century.  

About Gillian

Gillian Hadfield is the Richard L. and Antoinette Kirtland professor of law and professor of economics at the University of Southern California. She studies the design of legal and dispute resolution systems in advanced and developing market economies; the markets for law, lawyers and dispute resolution; contract law and theory; and economic analysis of law; and gender in economics and law. She is the director of the Southern California Innovation Project and co-director of the Center in Law, Economics, and Organization. She teaches Contract Law, Advanced Contracts (Strategic Analysis and Advice), Legal Design, Antitrust and Intellectual Property and Law and Policy of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Continued...

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Past Event
Apr 13, 2009
Time
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

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