January 21, 2008
Welcome to a notable new contributing editor
I am extraordinarily pleased to announce that Judith Welch Wegner, who served as Dean of the University of North Carolina School of Law for a decade, has now joined LSI as a contributing editor. This is a particularly exciting addition for LSI because, as her bio notes, Judith "recently completed a research leave as Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and has been principal investigator on the Foundation's major study on legal education."
The Carnegie Foundation's report, entitled Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law, has been a subject of great interest to the LSI bogging team. Just a few of our reactions and thoughts to the report can be found here and here and here and here and here and here.
I am very much looking forward to anything Judith has to say in this space about the Carnegie report and the initial reactions it has generated within the legal academy. One of the many remarkable features of the report is that only one of the principal authors (namely Judith) is a lawyer. I would be especially interested to hear from Judith about how non-lawyers with a background in education theory and practice reacted to learning about the distinctive ways of law school.
Posted by DAB
October 28, 2007
LSI year in review: some (crazy?) ideas for reform
This blog has now been up and running for a full year now, and we are closing in on 250 posts. (Here is LSI's first post saying hello to the world last October.) I am hopeful some of my co-bloggers will join with me in some year-in-review posts; this first one will spotlight prior posts noting or suggesting particular reform ideas. Here goes:
Specific teaching ideas/suggestions:
- Student blogging as an educational experience
- Making Law Courses Available on Web
- Is a paperless classroom inevitable ... desirable?
- Why shouldn't all law schools regularly host real oral arguments?
- Law School Innovation: Banning Laptops in Class?
- Rethinking Powerpoint in the Law School Classroom
General curriculum reform ideas/suggestions:
- Should law schools move away from a semester system?
- The Rise of International Law in the First-Year Curriculum
- The Mandatory Third Year Curriculum
- Innovating the third-year: no standard classes?
- Apprenticeship as Part of Legal Education
- Should law schools support/cultivate an on-line notes archive?
Other ideas and suggestions for law schools:
- Helping (underpaid?) judges through law school innovation
- Does (law school) size matter?
- Should law professors be required to practice?
- Open-admission law journals
- Should law schools be developing legal wikis?
- Would it be unethical (or even illegal) to put my US News vote up for sale?
Obviously, this is only a very small sample of the topics discussed on this blog over the last year. But these posts generated a significant number of interesting comments, and they highlight the diverse array of issues that jump into the heads of folks interested in law school innovations.
October 25, 2007
Meta-Post: Who's interested in meeting up at AALS?
CALI and Berkman are planning to host a suite at AALS in January where bloggers can meetup not just with each other, but also with their readers. CALI/Berkman would provide refreshments. We might also run a follow-up conversation to the Bloggership conference of 2006.
Maybe this is normal on the Web, but I have not met over half of my co-authors here at LSI, never mind our readers (hello out there!). Personally I would love the opportunity to extend this virtual community back into something face-to-face.
Granted, AALS should be all about innovation in law schools, but isn't there room for a little bit of guerrilla innovation? Who's on board?
November 11, 2006
guest blogging: The Berkman Center's study of legal ed and technology
Hello LSI readers, and thanks to Prof. Berman and the regular bloggers here for letting me stick in a word or two about my research. My name is Gene Koo, and I am a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society as well as the Director of Online Education for Legal Aid University. The Berkman Center is currently studying the impact of technology of technology on legal education and training, which I might summarize as roughly falling into three general areas:
- How technology is changing practice (what we need to know)
- How technology is giving us new teaching capabilities (how we teach)
- How technology is changing the very way we think (how we learn)
I'll be writing up our findings in a whitepaper due out in December. There is clearly a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time, so we are expecting that the whitepaper will point us towards the most interesting or exciting areas under development so we can focus our research and work more narrowly. But for now, we are still in "grazing" mode.
I will be posting and soliciting feedback on findings on my blog and also here as well. I look forward to having some great conversations with all of you, and am honored to have the chance to blog together.
- Gene Koo
October 30, 2006
By way of introduction
My name is Elmer Masters and I am the Director of Internet Development for the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, better known as CALI. For the past 14 years I have been involved with legal education and technology, first as a law librarian at Syracuse, then as the director of IT for Cornell and Emory. For the past 20 years CALI has been bringing technological innovation to legal education. My intent is to tap my experience and that of CALI to bring some thoughts and ideas about the function of technology in innovating law schools to this discussion. I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve as a contributing editor for the Law School Innovation blog and am looking forward to engaging the community on the many issues surrounding law school innovation.
October 27, 2006
I'm glad to be aboard...
I'm looking forward to being a part of the discussions on this blog. Already, I can see that the core struggle in any reform will be at the heart of what we discuss-- the tension between tradition and innovation. Whatever we do that is new and innovative usually takes time and resources away from something which we were doing before. For example, I am wondering what was taken out of the Harvard curriculum to make way for the new classes.
The costs of that tension are sometimes high. Above all else, it often leads to a schism between older and younger faculty, with the younger faculty more often being the proponents of change. Is there anything that can be done to mitigate that danger?
October 24, 2006
If you build it, they will come...
I am pleased to announce that a number of terrifically thoughtful law professors have already expressed interest in joining LSI. Though I will save an official announcement for when all the particulars are worked out, I wanted to post again to reiterate my open invitation for LSI contributors to include not just law professors, but also law students, practicing lawyers and anyone else interested in law school design and evolution.
As new contributors come on, I'm working on the infrastructure of identifying and organizing posts by author as well as by topic. But, because I am only accustom to solo blogging, this may take a little time to get right. In the meantime, I hope readers will start using the comments to begin the process of turning LSI into a group effort.
UPDATE: I just realized I had the comments requiring approval, but now that's fixed and comments should be showing up.
October 22, 2006
A forum for discussing ... law school innovations
Welcome to the launch of a new blogging adventure: Law School Innovation (LSI). My goal starting this blog is to create a forum for discussing ... law school innovations.
As a regular law blog reader, I often notice much blogging about law school dynamics and new law school endeavors at blogs such as Concurring Opinions and Empirical Legal Studies and MoneyLaw and PrawfsBlawg and The Volokh Conspiracy. (I sometime go "off-topic" at my home blog to discuss on-line companions to law journals and related bloggy topics (see, e.g., posts here and here).)
I thought it might be useful to have a dedicated blog home for these sorts of discussions, and Paul Caron and Joe Hodnicki were kind enough to embrace this new project into their Law Professor Blog Network. Topics ranging from Harvard Law School's new 1L curriculum to the recent emergence of Supreme Court clinics to blogging as scholarship to PowerPoint and internet access in the classroom are just some of the issues I hope will get discussed here.
Though my ambitions for this blog are huge, my time is limited. Thus, I hope other law professors, law students, practicing lawyers and anyone else interested in law school design and evolution will become regular contributors. I would be happy — indeed, eager — to bring on as co-blogger anyone prepared to do a post or two a week on law school innovation topics. Also, I have created a Board of Advisors for this blog. I have no idea exactly what Advisors will do, but at least such a Board is an innovation in the blogosphere.
I encourage early visitors to use the comments to tell me whether this new blog adventure seems like a good idea. If I get encouraging feedback, I'll probably invest (too much) energy in this new project; if the feedback is less encouraging, this blog may wither away once college basketball season gets going.