Faculty from six law schools join A2J Clinic Project

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (“CALI”) along with its partners, Idaho Legal Aid Services and the Center for Access to Justice & Technology, is pleased to announce that faculty members from six other law schools have agreed to join the Access to Justice Clinical Course Project (“A2J Clinic Project”). Participating law schools include Columbia Law School, Concordia University School of Law, CUNY School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, UNC School of Law, and University of Miami School of Law.

Each participating faculty member will develop and document a course model that uses A2J Author® to teach law students how technology tools can be used to lower barriers to justice for low-income, self-represented litigants. CALI will use those course models to assist other law schools in establishing A2J Clinical Courses as a permanent part of their law school curriculum. For more information, click here to read our news release.

Participating Faculty

Brian Donnelly, Conrad Johnson, and Mary Marsh Zulack, Lawyering in the Digital Age at Columbia Law School;

Greg Sergienko and Jodi Nafzger, A2J Clinic at Concordia University School of Law;

Joe Rosenberg,Elder Law Clinic at CUNY School of Law;

Jane Aiken, Tanina Rostain and Roger Skalbeck, Technology, Innovation, and Law Practice at Georgetown University Law Center;

Judith Welch Wegner, Becoming a Professional at UNC School of Law;

JoNel Newman and Melissa Swain, Health and Elder Law Clinic at University of Miami School of Law.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Access to Justice Clinical Course Project?

The Access to Justice Clinical Course (“A2J Clinic”) Project is a coordinated effort between the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, the Center for Access to Justice & Technology at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Idaho Legal Aid Services. Faculty members from Columbia Law School, Concordia University School of Law, CUNY School of Law, Georgetown Law Center, UNC School of Law, and University of Miami School of Law, will develop and teach a course at their school that uses A2J Author® to teach critical competencies to law students. Course kits created during this experience will allow more law schools to easily adapt and adopt these course models to replicate the success of this project.

What is A2J Author?

A2J Author® is a software tool that delivers greater access to justice for self-represented litigants by allowing non-technical authors like lawyers or law students to build customer friendly web-based interfaces for document assembly. The A2J Guided Interviews® created with A2J Author® remove many of the barriers faced by self-represented litigants, allowing them to complete court documents that are ready to be filed with the court system.

How much technical experience is required to teach an A2J Clinic?

No prior experience with A2J Author® or any other document assembly tools is required. All of our participating faculty members will be trained in A2J Author® before their courses begin and will be provided with funds to hire an outside technical consultant that can assist students with any software issues that may arise. However, A2J Author® is designed with the non-technical user in mind. New users can be trained using publicly-available materials in less than four hours.

What is a Course Kit?

The course kits developed by participating faculty members are likely to include a syllabus, assignments and a work plan for the student performances, as well as any tools developed or used by the faculty member and a teacher’s manual discussing suggested instruction methods. A course kit developed by Prof. Ronald W. Staudt at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is available as a sample at a2jclinic.classcaster.net. At the conclusion of the project, CALI will make these course kits available to all CALI Member Schools interested in developing their own A2J Clinic.

Can I still participate?

Yes! There are two ways you can participate: (1) The A2J Author software is available free for noncommercial uses at a2jauthor.org and we would happily support any faculty members who want to teach A2J Author at their law schools. There are a myriad of training materials available online that may be used with students. Additionally, Jessica Bolack and Andrew Medeiros are available to answer questions by email at a2j-author@kentlaw.iit.edu. (2) CALI is planning to start a second round of pilot schools to test A2J Author as an educational tool in the Fall 2014. A request for proposals will be sent out in October 2013.

If you have any other questions about the A2J Clinic Project or are interested in teaching A2J Author at your law school, contact Andrew Medeiros at amedeiro@kentlaw.iit.edu.

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