April 4, 2011
Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction
Most U.S. law professors are familiar with the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). (Full disclosure: I am a member of CALI’s board of directors and editorial board.) CALI offers computer-assisted lessons in various areas of the law. (A listing of the lessons organized by subject matter is available here.) CALI currently has around 850 lessons and, in 2010, there were over a million lesson runs.
Student and Faculty Use
I list the available business-associations lessons in my syllabus, and also require students to complete two of the lessons. (Those two lessons involve some rather complicated corporate law statutes; the lessons are a great way to force each student to work his or her way through the language of the statute.) I often get unsolicited comments from students about their helpfulness. As an author of several CALI lessons, I also get e-mails from students at other law schools to the same effect.
CALI lessons are available for free to any faculty member or student at a school that belongs to CALI, and almost every U.S. law school is a member. If you’re a student or a faculty member, it’s worth a look.
Use by Lawyers and Others
Many people are not aware that CALI lessons are also available to law firms and others who pay a fee to join CALI. I have found the lessons to be a great introduction to areas outside my areas of expertise, and practicing lawyers could use them similarly.
Want an introduction to the treatment of architectural design under copyright law? Want to know the basics of Clean Water Act permitting? Need an introduction to alimony law? CALI has lessons covering all of those topics.
CALI also has a large number of lessons on specialized legal research topics, including state-by-state guides. Have a Georgia law question and don’t know anything about how to research Georgia law? There are two lessons, one on primary sources and one on secondary sources. Have a question about California ballot measures? There’s a lesson on how to research those.
Take a look at the CALI web site. You might find something useful.
April 4, 2011 | Permalink