Law Firm Tech - What They Know, What They Want to Know, and What They Need to Know in Practice

Law firms are jam packed with technology.  Some, like conflicts software, document review systems, and time entry interfaces, are made for the legal marketplace.  Other technology is ubiquitous - Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint - and familiar to law students.  While word processing, spreadsheets, and other common software tools are  familiar to students, and many would tell say they are adept at using them, most do not know how to do much beyond putting their fingers on a keyboard and seeing words and numbers appear on a screen.  The KIA Audit and its progeny tell a far different story.

Law firms are changing as they fight to stay competitive in a crowded marketplace where cutting costs while increasing revenues is often the difference between success and failure. One piece of cost cutting is reducing staff headcount and increasing how many attorneys each secretary or legal assistant supports.  This happens in part because newer associates are expected to be "practice ready," with the ability to learn new software quickly and the knowledge and skills to use familiar programs to practice law efficiently, effectively, and ethically.   

The University of Georgia Law School introduced a course on technology and legal research for the Georgia lawyer, and expected a class of students who planned to enter small firms, government, solo practice.  What they got was a class of 3Ls with BigLaw jobs waiting who were hungry to learn basic software skills.  Maureen Cahill will discuss how the class came to be as well as the surprising enrollment and their learning goals. 

This program looks at ways to partner with law firms to familiarize students with the kinds of specialized software used in firms and considers how to ensure proficiency in the basics of common programs based on UGA's experience.  

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Speaker(s)

Topics

Session Track

Case Studies

Experience level

Beginner

Session Time Slot(s)

Time: 
06/18/2016 - 09:00-06/18/2016 - 10:00
Room: 
241

Presenter Resources