Should Law Schools Teach Technology?

July 11, 2013

Yes, they should according to a recent Information Week article by Michael Fitzgerald entitled “14 reasons Law Schools Should Teach Tech.”  In this article, Fitzgerald highlights Goodnenough’s 14 reasons why digital lawyering matters:

1. E-discovery.
It’s a new frontier in law and lawyer activity, a revolution in courts and how they handle disputes. Courts are becoming e-courts, and e-discovery is a $3.7-billion-a-year business.

2. Other new digital areas.
There is now privacy law, intellectual property law, information policies.

3. Technology is changing research and writing.
One of the major law research databases uses Netflix-like recommendation technology, noting that “people who cited this have also cited that.”

4. Advocacy.
Winning a case is not just about being in court anymore. Goodenough cited activist and author Bill McKibben, who argues that law is made in the court of public opinion first, with politicians and the Supreme Court following behind.

5. Analysis.
For example, the EPA is pairing legal databases with epidemiology. Georgetown Law built an app looking at law and same-sex marriage.

6. Professional presentation.
Lawyers need to be able to respond to the emergence of sites such as Divorce Deli and Wilson Sonsini’s online term sheet generator.

7. Digital competition.
Law is democratizing, in part because of inexpensive legal advice available through sites like Divorce Deli.

8. The need for good legal software.
Legal software is being written by engineers, who don’t understand the law. Lawyers need to get technical enough to talk to engineers.

9. Digital jurisprudence.
The rise of cheaply available texts in the late 1800s gave rise to the Langdellian model of what a good legal education should consist of. How will the latest revolution in technology change the way the law is taught?

10. Law is getting “Turinged.”
The field has been revolutionized and economically restructured by computing.

11. Computational law.
This tech uses computer algorithms to do automated readings and quantitative analysis of legal decisions. See, for instance, the work of Dan Katz at Michigan State.

12. Law tech is a $20-billion-a-year marketplace.
And it’s largely untapped by law schools.

13. Improving access to justice by bringing the law to the many.
One early practitioner is Ron Staudt and the Center for Access to Justice and Technology.

14. Creative destruction.
As Theodore Levitt said in a famous Harvard Business Review paper, “Marketing Myopia,” organizations have to plot the obsolescence of what now produces their livelihood.

You can read the complete article here.

Is Tech being taught in law schools??


Legal Education Conference in UK

January 18, 2008

Learning in Law Annual Conference Steve Friedland and Catherine Dunham presented a session entitled “When technology meets engaged learning: a critique of legal education in the 21st century” at the recent Learning in Law Conference. They discussed Elon’s engaged approach to legal learning and how the law school is confronting established problems, such as the use of laptop computers and other technology in the classroom and a lack of diagnostic an formative feedback, in new ways.

Friedland’s presentation focused on the advantages of using engaged and active learning methodology in all aspects of legal education. His remarks combined research on the ways people learn with the cognitive and practice-ready objectives of a law school.

Dunham talked about the interface between technology and legal education learning. She presented data to demonstrate how student learning has adapted to modern technology. She also sampled methods faculty can use to actively engage technology-savvy students in the classroom.

Steve is a contributor to our Best Practices blog.  May be he will post more info on his presentation.