Courses in the A2J Clinical Project are not all the same. Rather, each has unique goals and provides instruction from varying perspectives. This diversity showcases the myriad ways in which law and technology have become increasingly intertwined and the numerous uses of A2J Author as a tool to increase access to justice for low-income individuals.
This section provides a sampling of resources that can be used as a starting point for the creation of A2J clinical courses in law schools across the country. Participants of the A2J Clinical Project have contributed course descriptions and sample syllabi to aid in the goal of expanding the reach of the project.
The following is a course description of Professor Ronald Staudt’s course, Justice & Technology Practicum, which has been offered at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law since 2010.
The objective of the course is to teach perspectives and skills on justice and technology while building useful web resources to improve access to justice.
This course is a hybrid classroom and clinical offering. Throughout the semester students will work on tasks outside of class designed to provide education in a variety of law related skills. Each week all students, TAs and the professor will meet for a two hour class to review progress on each student project, share insights and tips, and work on projects together. There will be several “traditional” classes with modest assigned readings addressing advanced topics in justice and technology. Keep a close watch on the Assignments page for the dates and times of these classes. Additionally, once students begin to prepare their A2J Guided Interviews® and HotDocs templates, all students must schedule at least four (4), one-hour working sessions via the online schedule.
This course, like other Chicago-Kent clinical offerings, is graded on a pass/low pass/fail basis.
All students should plan to attend all the class meetings. The group is small and your participation is essential for a successful discussion. Missing classes will be a factor in awarding a low pass or failing grade.
The minimum time commitment required for completion of the course requirements are mapped to the standards now in place in the Chicago-Kent Law Offices. In the Law Offices students are expected to put in a minimum of 224 hours (an average of 16 hours a week for 14 weeks) for 4 hours of credit. For Justice and Technology Practicum, also a four (4) credit hour course, students must put in a minimum of 168 hours outside of class (which is an average of twelve (12) hours per week for 14 weeks). This course will begin the first week of the semester and end the last week of classes before read week begins for a total of fifteen (15) weeks, however one of those weeks will be Thanksgiving break therefore there are fourteen (14) class weeks. Also, there will be several non-traditional classes that students can count towards their weekly hours, these will be indicated on the Assignments page.
WEEKLY TIME / ACTIVITY REPORT
Each student is required to prepare a short report on completed activities and the time spent outside of class each week. Each week each student must log at least 12 hours of time. This time can be devoted to any of the following activities:
- preparation for class;
- field work at the Daley Center or other approved site, 20 hours required in the first 5 weeks of the course;
- research and drafting of your Scope Document, StoryBoard, Research Memo or Final Report;
- Hot Docs training;
- A2J Author® training;
- work on your HotDocs template;
- work on your A2J Guided Interview®.
Students should keep track of these activities using the Classcaster® web site’s Student Time Tracker.
REQUIRED PROJECT TASKS
In addition to the time requirements set out above and the required weekly reports, each student must complete the following tasks:
- Project Scope Document
- Project Research Memo
- Project Storyboard
- HotDocs Template
- A2J Guided Interview®
- Final Report & Presentation
The Assignments page is a dynamic statement of the class topics, assignments and required student performances. The assignments may change as the semester progresses. Check this page before you start your reading and skill exercises for each class.