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Role of Technology in Law School – What?!

Do you think technology belongs in law school? That’s what an article over at Law.com is pondering.

Basically, the article focuses on whether, and to what extent, law schools should incorporate technology into the curriculum. Obvious areas up for grabs are practice oriented courses like research & writing and legal clinics.

The more intriguing questions come from experiments like Harvard’s CyberOne course. I won’t even pretend to understand the course concept fully. But from what I gather, it takes place in Second Life and students learn how to use blogs, podcasts, wikis, and the like to make arguments and influence popular opinion.

Just offhand, this seems more like a communications or marketing course. Unless you end up in a small firm, you will likely have a department full of people doing this work for you. Should law schools really focus on teaching how to blog? If you need a course on blogging, should you really be at Harvard?

The big problem with this idea is summed up by the article itself:

The question of using technology in law schools raises the larger and tougher question of whether law schools are adequately connected to the practice of law and to members of the profession.

What do you think? Are law schools connected to the practice of law? Perhaps a few schools are. Some courses might be. Not all professors cling to the ivory tower. But isn’t it a given that law school teaches you very little about actually practicing law?

So what say you, Harvardians? What is this game-of-a-course all about? Maybe I have completely misunderstood it. Perhaps I’m jealous that we don’t have one. Mostly, I’m skeptical when I see a “news” article speaking highly of a program, when the author of the article is the director of the program.

Do you have a view on technology in the law school curriculum? Leave it in the comments or drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, harvard, cyberone, second life, law school[/tags]

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2 Responses to “Role of Technology in Law School – What?!”

  1. Matt
    November 18th, 2006

    Microsoft OneNot is an awesome tool for law students. It might be handy for practicing attorneys as well. It’s tabbed like Firefox, works like Word, but without restrictions as to vertical/horizontal size or importing/exporting files. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t already.

    Nice blog!

  2. Andrew F
    November 18th, 2006


    You’re right that OneNote is a handy program. I tried it out a couple years ago. I found it pretty useful, but it didn’t seem to export files to Word very well. Perhaps this functionality has improved since then.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Take care,

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