About CALI

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit consortium of law schools, law libraries and related organizations. Almost every United States law school is a member of CALI and they make up the bulk of our membership.  In keeping with our Mission Statement, CALI conducts applied research and development in the area of computer-mediated legal education and creates tools that increase access to justice. 

Specfiically, CALI hosts and facilitates the creation of CALI Lessons, a library of over 1,000  interactive legal tutorials written by law professors and geared towards law students. In 2012, we began publishing open and free casebooks with our eLangdell® Press publishing wing.  Additionally, CALI has partnered with Chicago-Kent College of Law's Center for Access to Justice & Technology to create A2J Author®, a tool designed to create guided interviews that help Self-Represented Litigants to navigate the legal landscape.  CALI also provides a number of tools and services for its members such as InstaPoll, Classcaster® and the CALI Excellence for the Future Awards® and hosts the annual Conference for Law School Computing®.

CALI HISTORY

  • 1971 - Harvard Law School and The University of Minnesota Law School begin collaborating on the development of computer-based exercises for use in law school curriculum and in the development of a computer network for sharing these exercises.
  • 1982 - CALI is incorporated as a Minnesota non-profit by the University of Minnesota Law School and Harvard Law School.
  • 1991 - First Conference for Law School Computing Professionals (aka CALIcon) is held at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Eventually "Professionals" will be dropped from the conference name.  CALIcon is hosted at Chicago-Kent annually until 1995 when CALIcon begins visiting a newly built law school every year.
  • 1993 - CALI joins the World Wide Web.  Lessons will still be only available via CD-Roms or dedicated terminals at law schools until 1999.
  • 1996 - CALI passes the 100 CALI Lesson mark in 23 legal subjects.
  • 1996 - CALI declares 1996 to be the Year of the Electronic Author and encourages law professors to create electronic books for law students.
  • 1997 - The CALI Excellence for the Future Awards are created.  These awards are given to the highest scoring individual in each law school course at over 100 participating law schools.  The program is free for CALI members to join and to date, CALI has distributed over 200,000 awards.
  • 1999 - CALI Author™ debuts!  This is the software tool that powers CALI Lessons. It also allows for CALI Lessons to be run from the web. CALI Author™ was and remains free for any member affiliated employee to use for educational or non-profit uses.
  • 2000 - The first CALI Lessons produced by our authoring fellowship program are published.  CALI Lesson fellowships allow a group of 4-6 faculty members to work closely together to produce CALI lessons covering a large segment of a topic.
  • 2004 - CALI releases white paper for CODEC, the Consortium for Distance Education from CALI.
  • 2004 - Faculty enhancements for CALI Lessons are released:  LessonLink, a tool that allows for faculty members to view the performance of students on CALI Lessons on a question by question basis; AutoPublish, which allows faculty to edit or create a CALI lesson and publish it on the CALI website; and LessonText, which puts the entirety of a CALI Lesson on a single webpage for easier review.
  • 2004 - CALI  has over 400 lessons in 30 legal subjects.
  • 2005 - Classcaster®, CALI's podcasting and blogging platform is released.  Within a year, there will be over 1000 legal education podcasts.
  • 2007 - InstaPoll, CALI's free classroom polling tool that requires no special software is unveiled.
  • 2007 - CALIspaces, a social network for law students is created.  For some reason, this weird startup called "Facebook" captures the public's attention instead.
  • 2007 - A2J Author®, created in collaboration with Chicago-Kent's Center for Access to Justice & Technology, is released.  This tool creates guided interviews that assist Self-Represented Litigants in navigating the court system.
  • 2007 - For the first time, over 1,000,000 CALI Lesson runs are completed within a calendar year.
  • 2009 - The Legal Education Commons is created.  An early open educational repository, this is meant to be a place for legal educators to share syllabi and course tools.  It was closed in 2014 with the website re-desgin. Stay tuned...it may be back!
  • 2011 - CALI5 Viewer, the overlay that allows students to take CALI Lessons is upgraded to no longer require flash. This means that CALI lesson can be taken on mobile devices and Apple computers.
  • 2012 - The A2J Clinic program is created.  This partners law school clinics with legal aid organizations.
  • 2012 - CALI begins publishing free and open casebooks and supplements under the eLangdell® Press imprint.
  • 2013 - Time Trial®, a card and online game designed to test a student's knowledge of important legal dates is created.
  • 2013 - CALI passes the 900 CALI Lesson mark.
  • 2013 - CALI sends out its 200,000 CALI Excellence for the Future Award®. 
  • 2014 - The current version of the CALI website is unveiled.  It operates on Drupal 7.0 and is mobile responsive.
  • 2014 - A2J Author® 5.0 is released.  This transforms A2J into an entirely web-based authoring tool.
  • 2015 - A2J Author® hits 3,000,000 usages!
  • 2016 - CALI now has over 1,000 lessons posted on the website!

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