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We're forming a new AALS Section: Leveraging Technology for the Academy and the Profession. JOIN TODAY!

Over the last few years, the topic of legal technology has gained significant prominence and attention.  With the changes that technology is bringing to the legal profession come new obligations for the legal academy to prepare our students for a changing legal profession.   

The new section would bring together academics and staff from throughout the academy who share a common interest in advancing scholarship and teaching about the role that technology is playing and will continue to play in the practice of law, legal systems, and legal education.  We believe that it is important that members of the legal academy become familiar with the changes being made and affordances provided by technological innovations in the delivery of legal services and how technology is impacting legal systems.

The AALS is a perfect place to house this new section because the section will include academics and professional staff members who typically do not all attend any single conference other than the AALS annual meeting.  We envision that our members will teach in diverse subject areas, and will include academics (clinical, librarians, doctrinal, legal writing) and administrators, among others.  There is no better place within the academy for this group to convene. Moreover, the topics that this section would address are not addressed by other AALS sections, so duplication of topics is unlikely.  

If you would like to be part of the founding membership of the new AALS section, please complete the form below:

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The AALS Handbook sets out requirements for new AALS sections, including the subjects that will be the Section's concerns and the activities and programs contemplated by the Section.   

Subjects that will be the Section's concerns:

Technology and the practice of law:  The world of legal practice is changing.   We regularly hear about new technologies that have the potential to remake long-term approaches to practicing law.  From data analytics to self-help materials, lawyering and access to information about the law is undergoing tremendous change.  The Leveraging Technology Section will provide space for legal academics to think about how evolving technologies are impacting law and legal systems.  It will encourage law professors to engage in cutting edge research and scholarship that can help to craft the new normal and create a space to share that scholarship with the broader community.  The Section hopes to address how law school faculty can understand the rapid and profound technological change that could well remake law practice and how they can be at the forefront of framing a “new normal” for legal practice and lawyering. 

Technology and legal education: Many schools are currently in the process of strategic planning and thinking about the future of legal education, including developing learning outcomes and assessment methods, considering online learning options, and considering the sequence and structure of the entire curriculum.  This Section will consider the role that online technologies may play in the future of legal education.  The Section will both (1) lead a conversation about whether online technologies that have been developed and used successfully in legal education may be able to scale to other law school classes; and (2) introduce law professors to new educational technologies being developed for use in other areas of education so as to inspire this group of educational leaders to be at the forefront of change as it relates to technology and the legal academy.  

Programs contemplated by the Section:

The Section plans to organize a Section program at the AALS Annual Meeting.  We may also host webinars during the academic year for members.