Legal Technology Literacy and Leadership
This course will help forward-looking law students become familiar with the wide variety of technologies used in and changing the practice of law today and understand the expectations clients, firms, law departments, and other legal organizations have about the technological literacy required for future legal leaders. Law firms face pressure from clients to innovate, embrace technology, and deliver greater value. Corporate legal departments are investing in technology and legal operations, engaging alternative legal service providers, and increasing their capabilities to deliver legal services internally. At the same time, technology used by non-traditional legal businesses is changing and automating tasks previously performed by lawyers. It is a time of challenge and opportunity, often described by the term "NewLaw." This course will focus on the major legal technology concepts and approaches that lawyers currently face in the practice of law and will increasingly need to understand thrive in the new era of legal services. It is NOT a class that will train students on the use of specific technologies or require a technology background. After establishing a foundation of legal-service delivery knowledge, we will focus on innovation and technology tools, from basics to the newest and most advanced technologies being used in the practice of law. We will explore how lawyers engage in substantive practice with these tools, what clients want their lawyers to know about technology, and how technology and innovation hold great promise for increasing access to legal services. We will cover the ethical requirement of technology competency and then move forward into technology literacy and the role technology literacy will play in shaping the leaders in the legal profession. Students will complete two major papers of the topic of their choice (a first draft and then a final version) and a short class presentation. Upon completing this course, students will have the understanding, knowledge, and skills to actively participate in technology and innovation initiatives and become leaders in law firms, legal departments, legal organizations, and the legal profession.
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