JETLaw’s 2020 symposium, “Spheres of Influence,” was a tremendous success (official symposium website here).

Despite the blizzard that befell Nashville the day of the symposium, over 200 guests attended over the course of the day. Guests came from all over the Vanderbilt University campus, from the Data Science Institute to the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department to of course the law department. Interested persons also came from the greater Nashville community, including lawyers and non-lawyers from local government agencies, business organizations, and law firms.

Eleven speakers flew in from across the country from Portland, OR, to Washington, DC. Their backgrounds also spanned from academia to private practice to non-governmental organizations to (one) Congressional staffer.

Lawrence Lessig addressed the symposium with the provocative subject, “Where Democracy Can Live.” He spoke on how the forces acting on democracy—not just law but the market, social norms, and (technological) architecture—are undermining it. He shared his vision, inspired from his experience observing deliberative polling in Mongolia, of how slow democracy could make democracy work in an age where people are highly fragmented and highly “legible.”

On the theme of “influence,” the remaining speakers discussed issues such as election technology, government reliance on AI algorithms, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the CLOUD Act, the interplay of social media and juries, hi-tech courtrooms, deepfakes, the evolution of the attorney-client relationship, and the duties of social media influencers.

Over the course of 6.25 hours, a catered lunch, and a dinner the night before symposium, participants and guests were able to profoundly stimulate, inspire, and influence each other on the future of law and tech.

For more details on the panels and speakers of “Spheres of Influence,” click here.

For the photo gallery from the event, click here.

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