This week I signed on as Co-Director of a Center for Law Practice Technology which I will be leading with Richard Granat. Over the coming months, we will be working to design a core curriculum and body of courses that reflects our experience in legal tech and draws from the expertise of our colleagues internationally. We hope to bring guest lectures and experts to the Center that will not only provide practical background in law practice management and the use of legal technology, but who will also foster a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking.
I have been teaching courses related to the use of technology in law practice for several years as an adjunct professor at various law schools and have also provided many guest lectures for classes and programs. Working with law students provides a wonderful challenge and opportunity to share and learn what is needed for our next generation of legal professionals to thrive in a changed legal marketplace. This experience has also given me the chance to use various distance learning platforms, pull a few together on my own, and figure out what works and does not work from a design and teaching perspective.
While I enjoy teaching, I also know that my experience practicing law and providing consulting work to other lawyers, law firms, and professional organizations makes me a better teacher. It provides me with more real-world, current knowledge about the technology and client needs and gives me a breadth of experience from which to share with my students. Accordingly, I will continue to practice law, write, speak, consult and work on entrepreneurial ventures, such as my game development company.
There are several law schools that have been coming forward with similar projects to create programs or courses that aim to empower their own students with practical knowledge about law practice management and technology. I have taught or guest lectured for many of them as well as provided advisory assistance in the creation of their programs. Some of these school are simply adding one or two courses for the time being, while others are creating entire programs. There is plenty of room in our profession and in legal academia for like-minded educators. There are plenty of new law students as well as young and old lawyers who need some serious “updating.” We hope to foster a spirit of collaboration with other law schools, professors, and programs that are taking up similar missions both in the States and overseas.
Legal professionals entering practice or trying to transition into a different phase in their legal careers are facing an uncertain and potentially difficult marketplace ahead of them. I believe I speak for both Richard and myself in saying that we hope that the courses provided through this Center help the profession adapt so that lawyers may better to serve the public and increase access to justice through the use of technology in practice management. But with equal importance, we want this Center to provide lawyers with the education and tools needed to create meaningful and fulfilling legal careers for themselves.