Curriculum Guide · Courses
Technology, Innovation, and Law Practice: An Experiential Seminar
Professors Rostain and Skalbeck
J.D. Practicum 1040 (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
This practicum course exposes students to the varied uses of computer technologies in the practice of law. During our seminar meetings, students become familiar with various innovative software platforms that are being adopted in law practice to enhance access to justice, capture legal expertise, interface with clients, manage litigation and transactional processes, and increase the efficiency and quality of legal services. Topics include: legal expert systems, virtual law practice, automated document assembly, technology assisted document review, and electronic legal research. For the field placement component, students work in small teams for a legal service organization to develop a platform, application, or automated system that increases access to justice and/or improves the effectiveness of legal representation. These organizations include civil rights organizations, direct service providers, and government agencies. The course culminates in a design competition, The Georgetown Iron Tech Lawyer Contest, which is judged by outside experts in the field. Along the way, students learn teamwork, an understanding of the relationship among the rules and doctrines that apply within a particular legal regime, and visual literacy skills. The goal is that, by the end of the semester, each team will have built a functional app that is adopted by the legal service organization and put into use for the organization or its clients.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship. Students who wish to receive credit for the Externship Seminar and a practicum course that has the same field placement may do so only if: (1) the practicum course is taken in a semester following the Externship Seminar; and (2) the student receives permission from the Assistant or the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. To receive such permission, the student must explain in writing how the practicum course field work would serve substantially different learning goals than did their externship field placement.
This is a 3 credit course. 2 credits will be awarded for the 2-hour weekly seminar and 1 credit will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. The seminar portion will be graded. Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and practicum components and may not take either component separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and field work components.