I recently finished reading Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age, written by David I. C. Thomson of the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and published by LexisNexis. This excerpt is from the introduction:
This book will describe how this profound generational change [referring to the Millennial Generation] both should and will transform the face of legal education as we know it today. It will cover the new ways our students learn, the pedagogical shifts that will occur inside and outside the classroom, a new breed of hybrid textbooks that will appear, and effective new methods of active, interactive and hypertextual learning. Most important, this book will describe simple ways in which teachers can harness this shift to better prepare law students today for the practice of law tomorrow.
Although this book is written with legal education in mind, much of the technology discussed has the potential to improve legal research instruction. One of my summer projects is to get in touch with my inner Millennial and take advantage of some of these technologies by exploring this book with my first year students and my advanced research students. Few, if any, of us were able to take such a class in library school.
This book is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all educational technologies that are out there, or a normative list of which technologies any particular law school should have. Rather, it plants the seed that new technologies should and will become an indispensable part of the legal educational experience in coming years. It also has an excellent discussion about how the current legal education system has been dehumanizing students by separating them “from their core values and thereby contribut[ing] to unhappy lawyers and, ultimately, to a dysfunctional profession.” So, between encouraging the embrace of technology and advice on how to relate to this new generation, this book has a lot to offer and should be considered mandatory reading for anyone who teaches law students.
For those of you in law schools, you should contact your LexisNexis representatives for information on how to receive a complimentary copy of this book. The book also has a companion website and a blog.