January 25, 2011
Technology That Can Help Teach Legal Skills Better: The Case for CaseMap
In New Skills, New Learning: Legal Education and the Promise of Technology(2007), Gene Koo observed that "[l]egal educators seriously under-utilize new technologies, even in those settings, such as clinical legal education, that are the most practice-oriented." In some cases it could be because some forms of technology merely helps achieve the same old goals more efficiently instead of contributing to achieving new pedagogical goals. But there are productivity applications that could be utitlized to improve legal skills education. One is Lexis CaseMap.
In CaseMap as a Tool for the Research Log Function: Finally, a Technology that Can Help us Teach Better, Denver Law's David Thomson reports on using CaseMap in the teaching of legal research and writing. Denver Law was the first law school to use CaseMap. In Update: Using CaseMap in Legal Research and Writing (LRW) Classes and Clinics, Thomson reports that that over 40 schools are now using CaseMap either in their LRW programs, their clinic programs or both. In this brief update, Thomson reports that for teaching legal research and writing,
I quickly discovered that the real reason to use CaseMap was that it allowed me to enter into the stduent's thinking, and by helping them to refine their legal analysis of the problem, to improve the work product the they were about to begin writing.
CaseMap's potential extends well beyond research logs. Thomson, author of Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age, also uses CaseMap for his Discovery Practicum. Additional uses could include law school clinics, any practicum that tries to replicate the litigation process, moot court competitions, even advanced legal research courses. Thomson is a trail-blazer in the use of productivity applications that are common in the "real world." See also Sue Altmeyer, (Electronic Services Librarian, Cleveland-Marshall) CaseMap Organizes Facts, Issues, Documents & Research and the ABA's The Lawyer's Guide to LexisNexis CaseMap. [JH]
I have incorporated Casemap in to the Lawyering Skills program at Lincoln Memorial. It works very well as a bridge between teaching legal research skills and legal writing skills. More to come (as soon as I can catch my breath).
Posted by: David Walker | Jan 26, 2011 1:02:53 PM