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Berkman Center studying the future of legal education

In October, I started a fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society (gracious hosts of this blog) to study the future of legal education given the changes and opportunities that technology presents. John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Center, writes about the project:

Over the course of this fall, we’re working with partners at Lexis-Nexis on a survey of lawyers and a white paper on ways that technology might appropriately be used in the teaching of law. The project is being spearheaded by new Berkman fellow Gene Koo. While on a much smaller scale than the curriculum reform just passed at HLS, this research project is intended to be in step with the hard look at whether law teaching today prepares students well for the practice of law.

I’ve spent the last month trying to talk with as many people knowledgeable about the topic as I could. However, as there are many individuals working on many important aspects of this question, and as my method for finding these people is imperfect, I am now looking to start a public discussion about this topic with the blawgosphere to gather wider participation in this project.

Based on these initial conversations, I’ve developed a provisional set of schemas to understand the landscape. The intersection among law school, law practice, and technology points to many possible combinations; here are some ways to describe those intersections:

  • How technology is changing legal practices / what law schools can do to prepare students for a new world of practice
  • How technology is changing law students / how law schools and practice settings can better accommodate this new “millenial” or “digital” generation
  • How the new market of legal practice is changing the way new lawyers are being trained / how technology can better meet this emerging field
  • How technology is offering new capabilities for education and training / how law schools and training programs can better accomplish their mission using new technologies

I’ll be posting more specific thoughts on each of these areas and welcome thoughts and feedback:

gkoo ~ at ~ cyber , law , harvard , edu

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Concerned Librarian | November 6, 2007 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I notice the partnership with Lexis-Nexis. Another intersection worth noting is the relationship between legal publishers and law schools. In no other academic discipline that I’m aware of have commercial interests penetrated the curriculum to quite the same extent. I find this extremely troubling and as hard copy library materials are increasingly replaced by electronic resources the fact that there are only 2 major legal publishers controlling the market should be of great concern to everyone involved in legal education.