Does Technology Allow Lawyers to Fill Their True Role as Counselors?

That’s the feeling of Jason Boehmig (president and CEO of Ironclad Inc.) who has teamed up with Ron Dolin (co-founder of Stanford University’s Program for Legal Technology & Design) to teach a new course on legal technology and informatics at Notre Dame Law School.

The course introduces students to the practical and ethical issues relating to the newest legal technologies and their potentially revolutionary effect on the practice of law. Surveying topics ranging from how to pair technology with legal functions, legal technology startups, law practice management software, and the use of technology to increase access to justice.”

Writing in the Indiana LawyerMarilyn Odendahl describes the course as going,

“… beyond introducing second- and third-year students to the gadgets and programs available today. The class bills itself as preparing students for big changes in the legal profession by getting them to think about how technology is impacting the practice of law and by giving them the ability to evaluate the new products.”

In the same Indian Lawyer article Boehmig emphasizes that understanding the role technology plays in the legal profession will give young lawyers an edge.

Attorneys who know the capabilities and the potential impact of any new legal technology will stand apart from their colleagues, no matter how long those other lawyers have been practicing. Technologically knowledgeable lawyers will be able to make decisions and gain influence in the office.”

Kevin O’Rear, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the Notre Dame Law School, commented that “law schools have been slow to address the major changes to legal practice resulting from the ongoing technological revolution.” It’s great to see new technology-oriented law courses like this starting to emerge in the law school curricula.

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