Dominic, LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by Online Learning, 2019
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Dominic, LLM in Innovation, Technology and the Law by Online Learning, 2019

My name is Dominic Hodge, I come from
South Africa. I am an advocate in South Africa, which is the South African
equivalent of a barrister, we have a split bar. I studied initially a
Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Commerce (Taxation) at Rhodes
University in South Africa. I’ve been in practice for a number of seven years in South Africa.
I practice mainly in the commercial fields, in intellectual
property taxation and general commercial litigation as is characteristic of a
junior advocate at the South African bar. From a legal perspective as a
practitioner in whatever field you practice, the luxury associated with the
broadening of both fields of practice as well as perspective, is always invaluable.
And particularly in the technology sphere, for example in the robotics programme, where
you consider aspects from developers perspectives, and from the
technological sense, I should say technologically proper sense as opposed
to having the legal slant on it. That gives you… I think perspective is the way
to put it, and so when you’re interacting with clients and matters involving
technological aspects, you then are able to understand or relate to their
position better than you would in the absence of having gone through that
exercise. I think also, because of some of the areas that the programme
touches on being areas that are not necessarily legally traditional, in the
sense of having been litigated, particularly from the data protection
side of things – I mean that’s all very new – from a legislative
perspective on the GDPR and all of that, that has been enriching in that you’re
considering perspectives that haven’t necessarily made their way through the
courts, and as they do then you’re able to consider the matter from various
angles that you might otherwise not necessarily have
associated with the field. I think most master’s degrees are self driven, and the
facilitative aspects of an online learning programme,
I think were perhaps richer than a traditional master’s programme, in that
you’re, from an accessibility perspective, you are then dealt with, or you’re then
dealing, with a far more accessible programme: both from a timing perspective
and from an availability perspective. Your interaction with both your
colleagues through the portals available through Edinburgh, as well as your
lecturers, is probably, or facilitates probably a richer experience than a
traditional programme where you are bound by the constructs of time and
availability in the traditional sense. Edinburgh is a fantastic place. It’s very
easy to lose one’s heart to it, especially being surrounded by the law school and
the people here, there’s a great diversity I think of graduates who have
been through the programme, and it’s something you experience during the
programme when you’re in it. I spoke earlier of perspective, and both
geographical, but it spans so across ages, across disciplines, and across
personality types. It’s very easy in the legal sphere to be sucked into a
certain mindset. You’re generally surrounded by lawyers – I mean you have your clients
and that sort of thing, but there’s a very specific type of person that you
practice with, and I think – and it’s definitely one of the benefits that
maybe I didn’t mention earlier as well, is that you are surrounded by people
from all sort of different walks of life, and that has been a very enriching
experience. And so it’s quite exciting, it’s onward and onto the next thing.

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