There are many opportunities for change in legal education. An area ripe for innovation is the law school casebook. Technological advances have made epublishing feasible for just about anyone, the content is primarily public domain legal information and skyrocketing prices mean that students’ finances are impacted immediately upon purchase.
The 23rd Conference for Law School Computing just concluded and it was a barn-burner. I am the Executive Director of CALI, so I might be expected to say that, but as I am the only person to have attended all 23 of these conferences, I am the most likely to be jaded by them as we
Our final CALI Spotlight preview highlights two articles. The first, written by Vern R. Walker et al explores what it would mean for law schools to be “knowledge centers.” In “Law Schools as Knowledge Centers in the Digital Age,” the authors propose that law schools take on the central goal of becoming knowledge centers, much like research laboratories in linguistics and information science. By doing so, the authors contend that law schools can accomplish many of their traditional educational goals through innovative legal means.
Yesterday, the CALI Spotlight Blog featured three participants from the Access to Justice Clinical Course Project that will be integrating A2J Author into their courses a part of a hybrid clinical experience. Three other participants in the A2J Clinic Project will integrate the use of this software into more traditional clinical courses.
The Access to Justice Clinical Course Project launched in January at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. During that AALS event in New Orleans, CALI® officially unveiled a panel of six participating law school clinics whose faculty members would be developing a new clinical course or modifying an existing course to use A2J Author® to teach modern legal skills.
Ronald W. Staudt and Andrew P. Medeiros argue that law schools should add Access to Justice and Technology Clinics to their curricula. With “Access to Justice and Technology Clinics: A 4% solution,” Staudt and Medeiros detail Chicago-Kent’s Justice and Technology Practicum, and explain how such clinical courses teach students traditional legal competencies, emerging technical skills, as well as other essential lessons in 21st-century lawyering, while simultaneously building A2J Guided Interviews for use by self-represented litigants.
Thinking like a lawyer, designing like an architect: preparing students for the 21st century practice
Oliver R. Goodenough recognizes that law schools can attract more students by adding to the value of traditional legal education. Simply put, as the market for legal services contracts, modern students desire to learn not only a set of policy, argumentation and analytic approaches to law, but also the knowledge and skills that a lawyer should have for an effective and rewarding career. In “Developing an E-Curriculum: Reflections on the Future of Legal Education and on the Importance of Digital Expertise,” 88 CHI.-KENT L. REV.
With “The Teaching of Law Practice Management and Technology in Law Schools: A New Paradigm” 88 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 757 (2013) (forthcoming), Richard S. Granat and Stephanie Kimbro analyze a deficiency in one area of traditional law school curricula and propose a solution to fix it. Because modern employers do not provide on-the-job training in law practice management, new lawyers enter the workforce without this critical knowledge.
In “If Only We Knew What We Know,” 88 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 729 (2013) (forthcoming), Conrad Johnson and Brian Donnelly examine the broader themes surrounding law and technology raised in this symposium by looking at lawyering and knowledge management. Most lawyering duties, if not all, can be understood within the context of gathering, managing and presenting information. This article explains both the theory and practice of an IT-based clinical course in legal knowledge management.