Are you still practicing law the way they did back in the 20th century, or are you taking advantage of all the changes in technology that have been sweeping the profession? Would you call yourself a digital lawyer, or an analog attorney in a digital world?
From document automation to the use of technology in the courtroom, to the rise of virtual law offices, the practice of law has been changing dramatically over the last few years. If you’re one of the many who feel as if it’s been impossible to keep up with many of these changes, you might be interested in an upcoming online course offered by CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction.
CALI is a nonprofit that’s been helping law students for 30 years, and they have put together a nine-week introduction to the many ways in which technology is changing the profession. Entitled Topics in Digital Law Practice, the web course starts on February 10 and will feature a different guest lecturer on Fridays at 2:00 Eastern time. Each class is just an hour, and if students are unable to make it to a particular class, a recording will be available later on the website. While the course is primarily geared to law students and law professors, all interested parties are invited to register. And while there is homework, there are no final exams, grades or CLE credits. Oh, and by the way, it’s free.
But don’t let the low price fool you: A quick look at a few of the instructors will let you know that there will be a lot of value for the time you put into this course. For example, the first lecture, “The Virtual Law Office,” will be presented by Stephanie Kimbro, a practicing attorney and pioneer in helping other attorneys set up their own virtual law practices. Richard S. Granat, the founder of DirectLaw, a popular platform for delivering online legal services, is giving the lecture in Week 4, “Unbundling Legal Service Delivery.” And Ernest Svenson will be giving the final lecture, “Social Media for Lawyers.” He’s a solo practitioner whose blog, “Ernie the Attorney,” has been named two years in a row by the ABA as one of the nation’s 100 best blogs for lawyers. Obviously, CALI has put together an impressive lineup of talent for this course. Here is the complete schedule of classes and instructors.
CALI is a nonprofit that was officially founded in 1982 as a joint venture of the law schools at Harvard and the University of Minnesota. The organization now counts more than 200 law schools as members and serves over one million online lessons every year. Kudos to John P. Mayer, CALI’s executive director, and thanks to Bob Ambrogi’s blog for the heads-up about this course. Check out Topics in Digital Law Practice; I’m pretty sure it will offer a wealth of information for those looking to catch up on what it takes to be a digital lawyer in 2012. See you in class.