Written by Alyssa Walker

Long Island's law schools are upping their tech standards to prepare the 1,300 law students currently there. 

Students at Hofstra University have access to a high tech mock courtroom with iPads or legal arguments and other court documents. At Touro Law Center, students are learning how to use AI for electronic discovery and sorting reams of legal data. 

According to the Center for Digital Education, Judge Gail Prudenti, dean of Hofstra’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law and executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law, said, "Technology is revolutionizing and changing the practice of law each and every day. [...] Firms are using technology more and more to become more efficient to save time and to save costs."

In October, Hofstra offered its first one-day legal tech boot camp that examined technology in law. Students learned about e-discovery, e-filing, e-billing, cybersecurity, e-research, and AI.

Courtney Selby, Hofstra law professor, associate dean for information services, and director of the Law Library, said, "What we’re trying to do is give our students an opportunity to explore not just where the practice of law is now, but where it’s headed." She added, "We’re trying to give them the opportunity to see a little bit into the future of their own professional lives."

Hofstra also offered a course on courtroom technology, where students had the opportunity to practice use iPads, and the TrialPad app. The purpose was to give students a taste of what real-world law looks like in the 21st century and to make them more marketable.

Touro is taking similar approaches. They've offered online courses with the flipped education model, and they're focused on teaching students about the uses of AI in addition to other legal technology. 

Jack Graves, professor of law and director of digital legal education at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, said, "Whether we're talking about educating law students, or law students providing legal services, the idea is that the appropriate use of technology, blended with individualized interaction as necessary, can make law schools better at educating tomorrow's lawyers and can make tomorrow's lawyers better at delivering legal services to their clients."

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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