“What a Law Firm will look like in 2118” by Abena Fosua Nyameye Korankye (Winner – LSU Blog Legal Writing Competition)

 Beyond Reasonable Doubt     

With every step on the glass floors, my feet vibrated as colourful arrows were activated to lead me to the “mainstream consulting room”. Before I could catch my breath, its doors flung open. I could not help but notice the shiny electronic chair at the centre of the room. The arrows were still active, and as if in response to my thoughts, I was instructed to help myself.  

Immediately I made full contact with the chair, the relaxing vibratory sensations took my mind off all my cares, including my attorney’s absence. Just when my eyelids were being persuaded to caress each other, they were repelled apart by a loud beep. The whole room lit up and a gigantic screen was activated on the glass wall to my left. As if on cue, my attorney walked in, looking quite amused at the staggered look on my face.  He smiled and requested me to lay back, relax, and to recall as vividly as I can, without uttering a word, the events which transpired for which I sort legal relief. I tried to subdue my astonishment so as to do this as accurately as possible. However, my efforts to control myself were futile – as soon as I began to visualize the events, corresponding scenes began to pop up on the screen.

Excitedly, and attempting to figure out the potency of the system, I tried to add some exaggerated embellishments. It complied for about three seconds after which a red exclamation abruptly appeared across the screen. I gasped. At the corner of my eye, I noticed the smirk on my attorney’s face showing his lack of surprise. I quickly straightened up in my seat and proceeded with my task.

As I recounted the events, areas of law to which my story was related began to be listed on the right side of the screen. At the end of my mental testimony, the movie show ended. The screen then began to list possible legal issues related to the potential case, under each provided area of law. “First issue”. In obedience to the voice of its master, the screen displayed a full argument in bullet points with supporting cases and relevant provisions of statutes, responding to the first legal question raised. I watched in awe as this happened for each of the issues. Another screen then popped up to my right side, which raised counter arguments and tried to find loopholes in the law and arguments raised by the first screen, much like the work of opposing counsel.

A slot extended from within the wall. My attorney walked up to it and picked up a pair of glasses. He put it on, touched its right temple and a virtual presentation of an aspect of the arguments was displayed with every flick of his finger.

He walked up to me, smiled and said, “We are still at the mercy of the bench”.