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A growing force in the future of the courtroom
Virtual reality (VR) is living up to its name by getting set to make big changes in how we live our lives. The typical image of the high-tech headset is taking hold with major companies from Facebook to Intel, while Google and Apple work away on their own versions. Many people view VR as a way for game players to unwind or to enhance other entertainment experiences, yet in reality, VR is also looking to prepare professionals for the job ahead. The medical field is using the tech to provide training, and even as a form of medication to aid both physicians and patients.
In a profession such as law, it may seem unusual that simulations would be effective, but VR training for attorneys is gathering steam quickly. There’s already proof of it’s promise in practice. What’s exciting is just how far VR may be able to go in advancing the practice of law.
The trial of virtual reality
The Young Lawyers Section of the MSBA in Maryland has been taking its first steps into VR training. Project heads Matthew Stubenberg and William Buschur are tackling the problem of those intimidating first cases by offering virtual dry runs in family law, consumer protection, guardianship, and expungement. Their video project is intended to allow new attorneys to see procedural matters taking place inside a courtroom. The footage was taken with a 360-degree camera and is best viewed with a VR headset. The training is geared toward increasing the confidence of new and prospective lawyers in a manner that’s more effective than traditional instruction.
The experiment is a fledgling attempt that shows real promise. It hints at VR’s wider educational potential while intending to “demystify the courtroom” and inspire young attorneys to represent low-income clients. This cost-sensitive approach is thankfully also adopted by Google, whose “Cardboard” headset is very affordable for any young attorney seeking to experience VR.
How VR stresses results over tension
This interesting article similarly focuses on the stress-relieving aspects VR can provide professionals. Effective training succeeds in keeping trainees cool under fire. If VR is good enough for the military, astronauts, law enforcement, and corporate decision makers, then it’s ideal for the high-pressure environment of the courtroom. Attorney training may even take on aspects of gamification which has proven to be highly effective in communicating information and skills in a more relaxed and interactive manner.
More possible practical applications
Beyond providing VR training for attorneys, the tech has some intriguing implications for other aspects of the industry, such as:
- Possibly speeding up the legal system by allowing attorneys and juries to take part in cases remotely or participate at more flexible times
- Offer large-scale training to an audience of new attorneys 24/7, worldwide
- Allow reconstructions of relevant case data in 3D
- Greater safety for high-risk witnesses who may participate in a trial from a secure location
With the current rate of technological advancement and the legal profession’s commitment to bringing a jury into the heart of the matter, the possibilities for VR in court are potentially limitless.
The shape of future law
Truly powerful VR won’t come cheap; to outfit every courtroom with the necessary hardware wouldn’t be an overnight process. However, with technology like Snapchat’s Spectacles, Google Glass and even concepts as radical as neural implants for lawyers and the fantastic future outlined by Elon Musk’s Neuralink either here or on the horizon, VR is becoming an increasingly believable way to improve the legal profession in the years to come.
At Boss Certified Realtime Reporting, we’ve been providing nationwide court reporting services for trials, depositions, mediations, and more since 1995. If you’d like help or more information, you can call us at 954 467 6867 or complete our contact form to let us know how we can assist.