A recent ABA Journal article gives 5 interesting tips on how to teach Legal Tech:
“1. Emphasize practical skill-building. Our class was not meant to prepare students for careers in technology. Rather, we sought to help students understand how technology can change their careers in law, and how technology provides different lenses to think about the legal system. As a result, our projects emphasized skills that could be acquired over the course of a semester and that students could use as lawyers. Our experience with the semester has encouraged us to stick with this approach and provide more formal structure for students to acquire immediately useful practical skills.
2. Incorporate projects into class time. For many students, a class like this is their first exposure to consulting. So even though students were expected to spend 10 hours per week outside of class on their projects, we think it is important to devote time in-class for students to sketch out their work to date, unpack challenges, get help, and talk about what is next. The projects that may be most useful in law and technology classes are often novel and complicated, and it is easy to get lost, especially early on. At minimum, we think that it is important to devote some semi-structured class time partway through the semester and structured rehearsal time before partner-facing presentations.
3. Be unusually responsive. Often, law and technology projects are not just novel for students—they are novel for clients too. In our professional experience running technology projects for lawyers, we emphasize an abnormal level of responsiveness: We check in regularly with clients, seek their feedback, and iterate based on that feedback. We encouraged students to treat their project like a consulting engagement, with a similar degree of responsiveness to their partners.
4. Build lectures for nonexperts. Although we are experienced technologists, we were novice lecturers. One of the more interesting challenges of the semester was adapting sometimes challenging material to a law school setting. In general, when it comes to technology, we think that training lawyers and law students in the same way is a mistake.
While obvious now, this was a mistake we made ourselves. We realized early on that our lectures reflected what we do in our professional lives: train experts new ways to think about their expertise. Here, students are still building their expertise, and it is our job to help them become experts in addition to providing a new way to look at the world.
5. Teach by doing. This course—and other law and technology courses—teach new ways of looking at the world. We strongly believe that this is a license to experiment with new methods of law teaching beyond the tried-and-true Socratic method. By far, our most successful experiment was gamifying a class session.
Over the past two decades, the use of games to improve learning outcomes has grown. Closer to the legal field, alternative dispute resolution education has taught via simulation for decades. To that end, we built a text-based, adventure-style game to help our students think through a project evaluation, a critical component in digital or traditional project management.“