Section Description Provided by Instructor
Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic
Professors Conrad Johnson and Mary Marsh Zulack, Brian Donnelly, Lecturer
Credits: 7 points of credit. Writing credit: Minor writing credit will be awarded
Enrollment: Up to Sixteen students
Join this clinic to learn the contemporary skills and perspectives you will need to emerge from law school ready to be the most effective and creative lawyer possible.
Computer and communications technologies are transforming law practice.. Technology affects lawyers on two levels. First, it allows us to perform traditional tasks more effectively. Second, it is changing the very nature of what lawyers do. One overarching goal of the Clinic is to provide a theoretical structure for understanding these 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 work where access to justice is at stake.
Teams of clinic students handle specific client matters, often as co-counsel with legal services lawyers, and work on special projects with them or with the judiciary. Students typically can choose litigation or transactional work. The casework provides a context for practicing the skills that are central to effective lawyering. The technology projects assist public interest attorneys or the judicial system to integrate technology-- often creating new models for achieving social justice through law.
You will learn traditional lawyering skills--interviewing, counseling, drafting, and 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 designed to provide hands-on experience with these technologies, you will begin to assemble a new range of possibilities for working with clients and others. You will have instruction and supervision in classroom sessions, weekly team supervision meetings, and field experience.
We seek a range of students: those with 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 21 hours per week) and are not overburdened with 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.
You will shape the tools available to the judiciary, to attorneys, and to the public. You will enhance the possibility of higher quality adjudication in thousands of trials and hearings. You will learn the core skills that are basic to becoming an effective, creative and reflective professional. If you are interested in preparing yourself for contemporary lawyering and for shaping the practice of law, we invite you to join us.
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit