Attorney Steve® Metaverse Law - Will this be the future? Gaming is already huge and Meta is a form of gaming!
Here are some of my top points as to why lawyers and law firms need to start thinking about the Metaverse. Not that it is here now, but because I think you are going to see METAVERSE, CRYPTO, BLOCKCHAIN, NFT, and WEB 3.0 popping up in your daily conversations. If so, you cannot afford NOT TO BE IN THE KNOW. I always think attorneys should be as informed as possible and leaders instead of followers.
Here are some of my top things to think about
- The younger generation is growing up with new technologies such as cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFT, and gaming which has always been popular. None of these technologies is going to disappear and logically all will grow in some way, shape or form. They are already growing now and at a fast past. There will be things in 3, 5, 10 years that we probably cannot even conceive of today.
- This creates, in my opinion, a great opportunity for forward-thinking lawyers. Some possible issues for different lawyers aside from being informed and being able to discuss issues with your clients (without fear of "I don't know anything" which is a less than desirable response, especially from a lawyer).
- Estate Planning / Real Estate Lawyers: There was recently an article about someone spending 2 million on “virtual land” in the metaverse. Would make sense if a lawyer reviewed to see exactly what they are acquiring. Will this real estate be gifted to their kids, donated, put into a trust one day? If you don't know about this technology and talk about it, you will not be the one getting the business. Investors in these technologies have money.
- Criminal Lawyers: There was an incident where someone alleged to have been “groped” in the Metaverse with other people looking on. Voices can be heard. Will avatars be standing around and encouraging this type of deplorable conduct? Will they pass laws making certain things in the metaverse a crime? Why not be at the forefront of this issue and start talking about it.
- Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers: I think this goes without saying. There are so many startups one cannot count them all. There is a large amount of investment going into new platforms. Literally, this is like the .com age we experienced, and I experienced personally over 20 years ago. There are going to be a ton of IPOs and ICOs and other things and business and M&A lawyers should understand the technology, especially if they want to be conversant with their clients, and enjoy what they do for a living.
- IP Lawyers: Like myself, I am interested in trademark and copyright issues, and rights of publicity. These virtual worlds in the metaverse are already being invested in with companies like Nike and Sotheby's. They know this technology is here to stay and this will create IP issues such as someone potentially infringing their copyrighted content (ex snapping a photo in their virtual store or auction house and using it on their websites), or using a trademark in an unauthorized manner (ex. creating a competing apparel store in the Meta called NIKKE and so forth). Surely, there will be a slew of patent filings.
- Divorce Lawyers: My husband spends all his time in the Meta, trading cryptocurrencies and trying to flip NFTs. You at least want to understand what that looks like. How do you split up the “digital assets”? What is actually owned?
- Personal Injury lawyers: This headset/goggles caused me to pass out. I am blind now. I got vertigo from the screen time addiction!
- Tort lawyers: Think libel/slander with avatars defaming each other or another's business.
- Contract lawyers: Buying NFTs in the Metaverse. What do these new “smart contracts” mean? Was a contract formed where I could not review the terms? What are the terms? Can I sell my avatar and other digital assets?
Watch Attorney Steve® explore SUPERWORLD in this video!
Do lawyers need a presence in Meta?
Let me not forget to say. Any lawyer or law firm should be thinking about a FUN and CREATIVE way to open up a shop on one or more of the metaverse platforms. Stuffy things will not work, but maybe holding free seminars in a virtual masterclass would be something that people may want to drop into or transport into for a few minutes to learn something new. You could also offer certifications (paid) or CLE for lawyers as I assume lawyers might even be in the Metaverse one day. The land is not inexpensive now, think about if the price goes up. Might this be a good investment to look into? I know I am looking at this once I think it becomes more advanced and developed. A good way to build brand goodwill (think of it as another social media platform), and to create thought leadership.
For example, look at this article from CNBC that discusses an investor plopping down 2 million for "virtual land" in the Metaverse. Now, physical real estate is valuable because "they don't make anymore" (unlike digital real estate, or software code that can be duplicated leading to thousands of virtual meta worlds in the future - perhaps all connected (to me minimizing the value except on the most popular Metaverser sites) - but you get the idea.
- Steve Vondran, Intellectual Property Lawyer -