The world of legal practice is changing. We regularly hear about new technologies that have the potential to remake long-term approaches to practicing law. From data analytics to self-help materials, lawyering and access to information about the law is undergoing tremendous change.
The AALS Clinical Section’s Technology Committee is gathering signatures to petition the AALS to create a new Section that would address these issues. The new section would bring together academics and staff from throughout the academy who share a common interest in the advancing scholarship and teaching about role that technology is playing and will continue to play in legal education and the practice of law. We believe that it is important that members of the legal academy become familiar with and take a lead in driving the changes being made and affordances provided by technological innovations in the delivery of legal services. We envision that our members will teach in diverse subject areas, and will include academics (doctrinal, clinical, legal writing), librarians, and administrators, among others.
Technology and the practice of law: The Leveraging Technology Section will provide space for legal academics to consider and shape how evolving technologies are impacting and could impact law and legal systems. It will encourage law professors to engage in cutting edge research and scholarship that can help to craft the new normal and create a space to share that scholarship with the broader community. The Section hopes to address how law school faculty can understand the rapid and profound technological change that could well remake law practice and how they can be at the forefront of framing a “new normal” for legal practice and lawyering. The section will also help law professors access materials that will assist them in preparing law students using emerging technologies in the practice of law.
Technology and legal education: Many schools are currently in the process of strategic planning and thinking about the future of legal education, including developing learning outcomes and assessment methods, considering educational technology options, and considering the sequence and structure of the entire curriculum. This Section will consider the role that educational technologies may play in the future of legal education. The Section will (1) lead a conversation about whether educational technologies that have been developed and used successfully in legal education may be able to scale to other law school classes; (2) introduce law professors to new educational technologies being developed for use in other areas of education so as to inspire this group of educational leaders to be at the forefront of change as it relates to technology and the legal academy, and (3) introduce law professors to pedagogies used to expose students to emerging technologies that are being used in the practice of law.
We are seeking signatures of those in the academy who support the creation of this new section. If you are interested in joining the section as a founding member, please add your name to the list, available here. (AALS requires that we obtain at least 50 signatures from full time faculty members and/or professional staff from at least 25 different schools).
Valena Beety (West Virginia)
Warren Binford (Willamette)
Michael Bloom (Michigan)
Larry Bridgesmith (Vanderbilt)
Alyson Carrel (Northwestern)
Jenny Brooke Condon (Seton Hall)
Ron Lazednik (Fordham)
John O. McGinnis (Northwestern)
Michele Pistone (Villanova) Chair
Jeff Ward (Duke)
Leah Wortham (Catholic)
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