Lawyers need new skills and core competencies to succeed in today's technology-driven legal practice. Legal employers of all sizes and practice areas are recruiting attorneys with the technology skills necessary to develop more efficient legal processes. The Justice & Technology Practicum offers Chicago-Kent students an opportunity to gain experience with document assembly and automation tools that are crucial to providing quality, economical legal services in this environment, while building document assembly tools for use by self-represented litigants nationally.
The Justice & Technology Practicum was launched by Professor Ronald W. Staudt at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in fall 2010 using a hybrid of clinical and classroom methods. Throughout the semester, each student researches a real life justice problem, engages with self-represented litigants struggling to gaing access to justice, and builds a document assembly tool using the A2J Author® software, which has been used more than 2-million times. The course is organized to help students frame the justice problem and understand how barriers to justice affect self-represented litigants.
The Practicum has become a model for the Access to Justice Clinical Course Project (A2J Clinic), a coordinated effort between the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI®), the Center for Access to Justice & Technology (CAJT®), and Idaho Legal Aid Services, where participating faculty member will adapt Prof. Staudt's model to develop and document their own course model that uses A2J Author®. Participating law schools include Columbia Law School, Concordia University School of Law, CUNY School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, UNC School of Law, and University of Miami School of Law.
We hope that these course kits will jump start the growth of future A2J Clinics and simultaneously deliver new automated content to legal aid websites across the country. The mission of an A2J Clinic is two-fold: to introduce law students to the skills required by a 21st Century law office, and to produce A2J Guided Interviews® and other technical resources that statewide legal aid organizations can use to lower the barriers to justice for low-income people.
How to Participate
The Fall 2013 section of the Justice & Technology Practicum will be offered on Tuesdays from 1:55 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. for 4 credit hours and still has a few spots available. To register for Fall classes, log into the myIIT portal and navigate to the registration section. Click on "Add or Drop Classes" and register using the CRN # 16997.
For more information about the course model, read the article "Access to Justice and Technology Clinics: A 4% Solution," written by Prof. Ronald W. Staudt and Andrew P. Medeiros for the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Please feel free to contact Jessica Frank, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.