Training solutions for the legal sector are becoming more advanced. Using Virtual Reality technology as a learning aid is not science fiction as experts outline benefits for the legal sector by adopting virtual reality solutions.
Most people are confused about Virtual Reality, and use the term as a descriptor for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality solutions. Before reviewing benefits of training lawyers with Virtual Reality, let’s define and explain the terms involved:
- Virtual Reality (VR) ensures a complete immersive experience that technically replaces the real world entirely, with headsets that transport users into various real-world / designed environments and surroundings.
- Augmented Reality (AR) adds certain digital elements to live experiences, using the smartphone camera.
- Mixed Reality (MR) combines the elements of both AR and VR with different scenarios integrating digital objects and the real-world to deliver realistic experiences.
What VR offers Lawyers
Even very dry subjects can be made experiential to involve participants more closely, by simulating a setting or scenario, like a tribunal, or a specific location or courtroom layout to put the attendees at ease. High-quality high-def 360-degree photography is used effectively for familiarisation of specific courtrooms, but more is possible with experiential learning enabling different viewpoints to understand the importance and impact of various Acts, with individuals able to experience issues from the perspective of the abused/persecuted. Immersive environments can expose real-world experiences of abused partners, with situational sights and sounds made real for trainees. Software can perfectly recreate facial expressions (like the Hulk in the Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame), bringing virtual characters to life and ensure non-spoken communication is recognized to improve immersion and improve training outcomes.
The viewer reacts as subtle facial expressions give away true feelings of the virtual character- anger, pain, bewilderment, fear, surprise, and confusion are all possible and endlessly repeated in different scenarios to assist lawyers prepare their interactions with real people. These accurate portrayals of emotions by virtually-made characters help lawyers challenge bias inherent within the law-firm and within clients’ businesses, demonstrating to individuals about facing outcome of bias and help change future behaviours. The future is not about VR as entertainment or about advanced technology, but how real empathy training ensures wider understanding of complex issues, for mutual benefit. Leading advocates in the sector talk of ‘immersive environments’, requiring more than just visual realism and include touch, motion, spatial sound, and even heat/cold to increase the realism experience for trainees.
Taking VR to Court
With access to a Court for a crime-scene or an accident, VR professionals ensure an immersive experience that allows lawyers, witnesses, jurors, and judges to visualise the scene, understand the situation and review what could have happened. Immersive experiences assists law firm prepare clients and witnesses for forthcoming court experiences, with views of a real courtroom recreated in finely tuned and detailed VR, allowing users to visit the room and imagine their position from different angles. When firms have learning days involving actors/ peers to help train juniors, Virtual Reality solutions that can be repeated on loop endlessly with every new intake of training contracts, are flexible, immersive, cost-effective and enjoyable experiences that improve the learning process, and also integrates latest technology into its business. Legal Sector adoption has been slow, but a growing recognition for improving training outcomes, involving empathy and emotion as well as hands-on experience, may ensure greater traction in the future.