Learn the contemporary skills and perspectives you will need to emerge from law school able to be the most effective and creative lawyer possible.
Computer and communications technologies are swiftly transforming the practice of law. Technology advances affect lawyers on two levels. First, they allow us to perform traditional tasks more effectively. Second, they are changing the very nature of what lawyers do. One overarching goal of the clinic is to provide a theoretical structure for understanding those changes. Another goal is to provide a practical setting for testing new ideas about the intersection of technology and law practice. Our focus is on situations where access to justice is at stake.
Teams of clinic students will work on client matters, often as co-counsel with legal services lawyers, or on special projects with the judiciary. Students typically work on civil matters and can choose litigation or transactional work. The casework provides a context for practicing the skills that are central to effective lawyering. At the same time, you will apply what you are learning about technology by assisting public interest attorneys or judges to integrate technology into their work. You will also study the service delivery methods of public and private legal organizations, as you experience the rewards and challenges of public interest lawyering. Increasingly, the projects our students complete are creating new models for achieving social justice through law.
You will learn traditional lawyering skills — interviewing, counseling, drafting, trial preparation — using technology to assist you. You will also learn and apply new skills involving "knowledge management," electronic fact-gathering, digital presentation, and online collaboration. Practical experience in the use of basic digital technologies will equip you to help others overcome obstacles and employ technology purposefully. Through a pedagogy that is created to provide hands-on experience with these technologies, you will begin to assemble a new range of possibilities for working with clients and other professionals in a variety of lawyering situations that will serve you well throughout your careers.
We seek a range of students, including those who may have a desire to work in public interest law, an interest in technology, or simply an eagerness to hit the ground running when entering practice in either the public or private sector. We do not expect computer wizards. Students will find this clinic valuable if they have an interest in learning, are able to make the time commitment that is typical of all clinics (approximately 20 hours per week) and are not overburdened with too many inflexible commitments beyond school work.
Your work will be evaluated based on the level of your participation, your performance of the lawyering skills we expect you to acquire, and the responsible handling of your legal work and technology project. Attendance at each class is important, as exercises and collaborative work during class are difficult to reschedule.