Kudos to my colleagues Dan Katz and Renee Newman Knake, and the ReInvent Law laboratory they founded, which was featured in the New York Times. The article, titled “This is Law School?” takes a look at how law schools are innovating, and teaching law students valuable new skills.
One of the founders of the Reinvent Law Laboratory is Daniel Martin Katz, an associate professor with expertise in big data and powerful computing and their applications to legal studies. He hopes to give his students a leg up in a job market that seems increasingly bleak, and to help them become “T-shaped,” by which he means having deep knowledge — the downward swipe of the letter T — as well as a broadened set of abilities. So providing them with information on seemingly arcane subjects like data analytics can be a career builder. “Analytics plus law gets you into a niche,” he said. The program is partly funded by the Kauffman Foundation, which supports entrepreneurship education.
My buddy Bill Henderson also gets a nice shout-out:
At Indiana University’s law school, Prof. William D. Henderson has been advocating a shake-up in legal education whose time may have come. “You have got to be in a lot of pain” before a school will change something as tradition-bound as legal training, he said, but pain is everywhere at the moment, and “that’s kind of our opening.” He advocates putting more technology and practical training into the curriculum to adapt to a field that is less about “expensive, artisan-trained lawyers” and more about providing legal services at lower cost.
I’m glad the paper of record is focusing on this very, very important development in legal pedagogy.