By Brian Huffman, Electronic Services Librarian
Law Firms and Courts have recognized the need and value of tech-savvy lawyers for many years. To date, 27 states have adopted an ethical duty of technology competence[i]. It’s time law schools recognize the need and benefits law students receive learning to use technology to help increase their efficiency.
Renowned law librarian Sarah Glassmeyer said it best when asked “What are the top three things future lawyers really need to grasp right now?”:
“InfoSec, which is a cool kid way of saying “Information Security.” Know where your data is and how it’s being protected. 2. The world is the Web and the Web is Social. There is no delineation between your online life and the “real world.” Act accordingly. 3. If tech can replace a “lawyerly task,” then it’s not a task that lawyers should be wasting their time on and billing clients for. Don’t go into the world with an “us vs. them” attitude towards legal tech vendors. Use them to make yourself more productive.”[ii]
Starting Fall 2017 the Law School will offer a course called Technology for Lawyering Competencies (TLC). The course will prepare law students to be proficient with technology in a manner that will focus on skills necessary for law school and as they enter the profession.
All law students are encouraged to attend. The skills we cover will especially benefit 1Ls experiencing Lawyering Fundamentals for the first time.
Weekly topics and skills include:
- Legal Databases: Basics of Westlaw & LexisNexis
- Word Skills for Lawyers: Styles, Table of Authorities, and Document Templates
- Additional Word Skills for Lawyers: Getting the Most Out of Word
- The Cloud: Document sharing, versioning, metadata, and cybersecurity
- Cite Like a Legal Researcher: Bibliography/Citation tools (focusing on Zotero)
- Browser troubleshooting, security issues, and password encryption
- Searching Skills: Artificial intelligence and algorithms
To properly prepare lawyers for what is around the corner we will touch upon emerging technologies. Some of the bleeding-edge technology that will be addressed include AI, blockchain, Big Data, and more.
Welcome to the Brave New World of Technology and Lawyering. The profession and our clients will benefit greatly from these advances. WSRSL students are positioned to be on top of their game by utilizing technology to increase efficiency at legal education and in the practice of law.
[i] Robert Ambrogi, 27 States Have Adopted Ethical Duty of Technology Competence Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites (2015), https://www.lawsitesblog.com/2015/03/11-states-have-adopted-ethical-duty-of-technology-competence.html (last visited Jun 16, 2017).
[ii] Ava Chisling, #LegalTechLives with Sarah Glassmeyer, lawyer, librarian and technologist at the ABA Center for… ROSS’ #LegalTech Corner (2017), https://blog.rossintelligence.com/legaltechlives-with-sarah-glassmeyer-lawyer-librarian-and-technologist-at-the-aba-center-for-39c690ad81bd (last visited Jun 24, 2017).