• Legal Education,  Legal Research,  Legal Technology

    Apparently, the law library of the future is going to be one big Kindle

    The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute has just published a short essay by Professor Ronald E. Wheeler of Suffolk University Law School, titled “Is This the Law Library or an Episode of the Jetsons?” The big takeaway: the library is going to resemble a super-advanced Kindle and its patrons will look like they are parts of the Borg Collective: It will include technologies that we know about and technologies that are beyond our imaginations. Things like retinal and holographic displays are predicted to be in use in the next 5 to 10 years. Lawyers, law professors, and other law library patrons will be browsing touchable, holographic shelves to select volumes instead…

  • Legal Education,  Legal Technology

    Does classroom laptop use inhibit law school learning?

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether it was a good idea for judges to read appellate briefs on iPads or other screens, pointing out studies regarding decreased comprehension and retention reading from a screen compared to reading from paper. Thus, it does not surprise me at all that use of laptops in classrooms (especially law school classrooms) has some serious implications for learning. Take a look at this abstract of The Dynamics of the Contemporary Law School Classroom: Looking at Laptops Through a Learning Style Lens, by Regent University law professor Eric A. DeGroff: The Millennial Generation is at ease with modern technology and with juggling multiple tasks. Many…

  • Appeals,  California Court of Appeal,  Legal Education

    Big city justices roll into Napa

    The First District Court of Appeal convened yesterday in Napa to hear two criminal cases at a public auditorium before about 400 high school students. The justices also treated the students to a Q&A session. Given that most people’s exposure to the law through the entertainment media nearly always involves a trial, this session strikes me as an excellent opportunity to educate the public about appeals. After all that exposure to movie-version trials, one suspects that the typical student, unless adequately briefed on the proceedings beforehand, would walk away from an appellate hearing saying to himself, “That’s it?” I’m curious whether that sentiment came out during the Q&A or in…

  • Law & Culture,  Legal Education

    Looks Like I was Wrong about Tweeting Jurors.

    I didn’t think we’d see them anytime soon.  I was very, very wrong. UPDATE:  So I got to thinking . .  . I’ve got 20 or 30 years left in my legal career.  Will I see a juror’s mental telepathy about a case raised as a ground for appeal?  I don’t know, but if mental telepathy is possible, it will sure change oral argument, especially how an advocate handles questions from the court.

  • Law & Culture,  Legal Education

    Law School Rankings Under Scrutiny Again

    When I last wrote about law school rankings (in the summer of 2007), it was in response to a post at the Law School Innovation blog rounding up some reporting and commentary on law school rankings, including an article in National Law Journal about a potential boycott of magazine rankings surveys used by the magazines to rank the schools. I don’t know whether any schools actually protested through a boycott, but yesterday’s Wall Street Journal gives the schools more food for thought. Their front-page article, Law School Rankings Reviewed to Deter ‘Gaming,’ discusses the practice of some schools to admit lower-qualified candidates only to their part-time programs, where the qualifications…

  • Legal Education

    UC Davis Law Students Procure Ninth Circuit Reversal

    Congratulations are in order for UC Davis law students Anjuli Fiedler and Rachel Golick who, under the supervision of UC Davis School of Law professor Carter C. White, represented and obtained a reversal for the appellant in Simpson v. Thomas, case no. 07-16228 (9th Cir. June 11, 2008), Maybe this happens more frequently than I suspect, but it strikes me as a pretty big deal. Especially since the appeal raised two issues of first impression.

  • Blogging,  Legal Education

    Blogging Professors

    The New York Times recently ran a piece called The Professor as Open Book, about professors (across all disciplines) sharing personal information on their blogs and social networking sites. How much is too much? Hat tip: Legal Writing Prof Blog, where John Marshall Law School professor Mark Wojcik offers some commentary on the subject. It was just last June when University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos wrote in a tongue-in-cheek way about being perhaps the last law professor in America without a blog. You’ll see precious little personal info on this blog. I only got around to adding my picture a week or so ago. And that’s not exactly…

  • Legal Education,  Oral Advocacy

    Realism in Appellate Training

    If we want students to learn to address an appellate court, shouldn’t the seating at moot court competitions at least resemble an appellate courtroom? All too often, it doesn’t, says Professor Colleen Barger at Legal Writing Prof Blog. Physical limitations of the venues hinder it, she notes, and she’s asking for suggestion she can offer moot court tournament organizers. If you have any, head over to the link.

  • Legal Education,  Legal Writing,  Legal Writing Blogs and Resources

    A Professor’s Lament and More Legal Writing Resources

    Professor Austen Parrish of Southwestern Law School, as a guest writer at Prawfsblawg, laments the poor writing skills of first-year law students, including this comment: “Exam answers (at times written like lengthy text messages) can bring seasoned professors near to tears.” He offers a list of helpful books. The commenters on the post don’t seem particularly optimistic.

  • Blogs by Law Profs,  Legal Education

    A Call to Law Professors and Those Who Know Them

    Prawfsblawg posts Are you now or have you ever been a member of a debate team?  It is a call for participation by law professors in a worthwhile project.  (For that reason, this post incorporates almost the entirety of the linked post.  I’m sure Prawfsblawg won’t mind if it helps get the word out, but I’ll feel less guilty about it if you click the link to the Prawfsblawg post.) Jim Speta , a law professor at Northwestern, is trying to identify law professors who debated in high school or college.  He’s seeking to make the case that debate provides skills and interest that lead students to consider law school,…

  • Legal Education

    Law School Rankings

    There’s a lot of talk out there right now about law school rankings.  I heard on the radio the other day that some liberal arts schools were boycotting the magazine rankings and that some law schools were considering doing the same.  The Law School Innovation blog has a post rounding up some recent articles about rankings, including a Wall Street Journal article about blogs ranking law schools, a WSJ blog post about alternative rankings systems (which includes lots of links), and a National Law Journal article predicting that the liberal arts school boycott is not likely to spread to the law schools. Professor Rubinstein at Adjunct Law Prof Blog has…