Home Ch.1 - Automating the Practice Integration into the Courts and Law Schools
PDF Print E-mail
Chapter 1 - The Necessity for Automating the Practice of Law

Integration into the Courts and Law School 

Applications of Technology in the Courts - The courts are integrating computer technology in the resolution of cases from the day they are filed until the case has its last appeal.  Many of the same information technology skills that you develop in the preparation of your cases can be applied in electronic filing or presentations in the courtroom.  Many courtrooms across the country are computer-integrated with terminals on the desks of court personnel and the litigating parties.   If a courtroom is not computer-integrated, the portability and cost of making them computer ready for any trial has been substantially reduced.  Testimony is being instantly translated real time for use by the judge and the parties.  The first truly “paperless trial” was held in 1994 in Cincinnati, Ohio in the Federal District Court of the late Judge Carl Rubin.  All of the documentary evidence in this securities case was electronically imaged and shown to the jury and parties by video monitors set up in the courtroom.

Electronic filing is being implemented in many courts as they begin to understand the time and cost savings by moving from a paper to a digital depository. 

The National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia is an active clearinghouse in coordinating and disseminating information on actual applications and successes in applying technology in the courts.  Courtroom 21 (www.courtroom21.net).

Many courts have on-line database systems, such as ACES (Federal Appellate Court Electronic Services) or CITE.  These are electronic bulletin boards or Internet systems where attorneys can access published slip opinions, view oral argument calendars, court rules, notices, and press releases.  PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) allows attorneys to retrieve computerized docket information in federal district courts for a fee.

Courts across the country are rapidly adopting technological advances in computer applications to effectively and efficiently administer cases.  As the courts continue to automate it is important that practitioners automate to provide open and continuous access to the courts.

Application of Technology in the Law Schools - Law schools are starting to take a leadership role in the integration and teaching of digital technology to new law students.  There are two technology programs that should not go unnoticed.  At the University of Arizona Law School, Professor Winton Woods is spearheading the “Courtroom of the Future” and “Law Office of the Future” projects, which provide students and practitioners with a technology equipped courtroom and office to learn presentation and digital office skills. (www.law.arizona.edu/it/court.html).  The William & Mary College of Law has developed one of the most advanced technology courtrooms of the future and includes services such as providing students videoconferencing access time to interview with potential out-of-state employers. (www.courtroom21.net/index.html)

Nova Southeastern University (www.nsulaw.nova.edu) includes technology literacy in its curriculum and mandates laptops for new students.  This is one of 12 ABA accredited law schools with this requirement.  They want students to know how technology can help them practice law. Students can attend class meetings, interview for out-of-town clerkships by videoconferencing and obtain and distribute homework over the Internet.  

On-line law school – Concord University School of Law (www.concord.kaplan.edu) is the first major institution (not ABA accredited) offering a juris doctorate degree through Internet correspondence. Students watch recorded lectures, communicate via e-mail and chat rooms with professors, research and write papers using an on-line law library, and take on-line tests.  The tuition for this 4-year program tuition is averaging $4200 a year.  They had over 200 application requests in the first month alone. 


 © 2008 - 2009 Law Partner Publishing, LLC   All Rights Reserved






Find Legal Software


eDiscovery Alerts

Click here to sign up for ediscovery e-mail alerts that provide news on the latest electronic discovery and evidence issues.