14 Hybrid Legal Practicums/Seminar Syllabi

Course Model: IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Justice and Technology Practicum




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 nontraditional classes that students can count towards their weekly hours, these will be indicated on the Assignments page.




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.




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.


Course Model: Georgetown University Law Center’s Technology, Innovation and Law Practice: Access to Justice


Hotung 6005


W: 1:20 – 3:20pm


Course materials on Canvas




Professor Tanina Rostain




McDonough 472




Professor Mark O’Brien




Professor Roger Skalbeck

E.B.Williams Library 208A




Professor Kevin Mulcahy






Syllabus (Annotated)




In our class meetings, we will focus on issues related to access to justice with an emphasis on how technologies are altering the landscape for persons of limited means. We will also explore how various technologies have the potential to empower disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and communities. Topics discussed include the justice gap, economic and regulatory barriers to access, resource constraints and statutory restrictions on publicly funded legal services. Several classes will be devoted to expert system design and authoring in the Neota Logic platform.


Topics and Assignments


1. 1/15 — Introduction to The Seminar/Access to Justice Themes


This is an introduction and brainstorming session. To prepare ask our students to watch a brief video on legal expert systems and then ask them to consider what types of legal problems are suited to solutions using legal expert systems. We also ask them consider in what substantive areas is access to the legal system a problem, what are some of the underlying causes and what are possible solutions.


2. 1/22 — Visual Presentation of Information


We ask students to do a brief presentation about a hobby, passion or obsession – current or former.




3. 1/29 —James Sandman, LSC and the Access to Justice Landscape


Apps and teams assigned by 1/29


4. 2/5—Introduction to Expert System Design: Crush the Mush, CRFO, Design Templates and Flow Charts


5. 2/12 —David Udell, Justice Index


2/19 Faculty Retreat: No Class


6. 2/26 —The Role of Technologies in Increasing Access to Justice (Self-Help Pro Bono Net; Law Help Interactive)


2/ 26 App Design Documents Due by COB


7. 3/5 — Authoring in NL: Basics


3/12 Spring Break


8. 3/19 — Advanced Crush the Mush/Authoring in NL continued


3/21 Team Assessments due


We asks students to rate themselves and their teammates based on a number of criteria. The form is included in our materials.


3/24-3/25 – Meet faculty/team review meetings


9. 3/26 —Matthew Burnett, Immigration: a Case Study/ Team Discussions


3/31 to 4/4 – Kevin Mulcahy Video Team Meetings (dates to be confirmed)


10. 4/2 —Regulatory Limits and Unauthorized Practice of Law


Janson v. Legal Zoom; Marc Lauritsen, Liberty, Justice and Legal Automata


11. 4/9 —Topics to be determined/Team discussions


12. 4/16—Professor Rebecca Sandefur, University of Illinois


Sandefur, Money Isn’t Everything


Sandefur, Civil Legal Needs and Public Legal Understanding





Confirmed Judges: Jane Aiken, Associate Dean for Experiential Education; Peter Gronvall, Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group; Karen Lash,



4/25 – Final design documents and team assessments due



Reading to Links:






Sandman Bio



Fact Sheet on the Legal Services Corporation



Report of The Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice



Documenting the Justice Gap in America





NCAJ Web site



NCAJ Overview



Justice Index web page



Abel & Udell, Justice Index: Measuring Access to the Courts, MIE Journal


Family Matters, NYLJ, July 22, 2013



We Need a National Justice Index, NYLJ, Dec. 5, 2011



World Justice Project, Rule of Law Index, 2012-13

















Pocket DACA (mobile app) Android: http://bit.ly/1d5d94t;


iTunes: http://bit.ly/1r1As30


Course Model: Concordia University School of Law’s A2J Clinic



Date & Learning Outcomes


Reading & Student Assignments


Instructor Activity


Class 1: Understanding of the project and how it contributes to the goal of equal access to justice and a discussion of needs assessments




Ronald W. Staudt, White Paper: Leveraging Law Students and Technology to Meet the Legal Needs of Low-Income People



Jona Goldschmidt, The Pro Se Litigant’s Struggle For Access To Justice, Family Court Review, Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 36-62 (Jan. 2002)



Skill exercise: Explore Idaho Legal Aid’s A2J forms available at www.idaholegalaid.org. Complete and print an interview of your choice and bring it to class. Break into pairs. Discuss available field placements, which should be integrated into the needs assessment strategy.



Assignment before next class – Meet with your partner and develop a needs assessment & research strategy and timetable.


We will discuss different strategies for conducting needs assessments including: review of existing needs assessment data, meeting with/interviewing low income persons in our community, observation, interviewing, or data gathering at low income legal service providers (Idaho Legal Aid and the Ada County Court Assistance Office).


Class 2: Interviewing skills and Cultural Competencies: preparing students to do effective interviews that are sensitive to cultural, economic, and other diversity issues. Discussion of field work placement opportunities.





Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, available at http://www.lsc.gov/sites/default/files/LSC/pdfs/documenting_the_justice_gap_in_


america_2009.pdf (pgs. 9-28)



The Five Habits: Building Cross-Cultural Competence in Lawyers


By Professor Susan Bryant of CUNY Law School


8 Clinical L.Rev. 1 (2001).



Deborah Maranville, “The Very Basics of Legal Interviewing” (handout)



Skill exercise: Review your needs assessment strategy with the course instructor.



Assignment before next class: Develop a list of questions you would ask in order to do a “legal needs checkup.” Begin field work: Each student must complete 20 hours of field work prior to Class 6.



Based on each pair’s needs assessment strategies and timetables, instructor will schedule field placements.



Class 3: Substantive Law Overview



Topics: advanced directives, wills and probate, guardianship





Senior Legal Guidebook (handout)


Senior Hotline Handbook excerpt (handout)


Idaho Code: Title 15, Chapters 1-3, 5, 12, and 13 (all statutes and annotations)



Assignment before next class: Begin legal research and continue field work.


Instructor will lecture on substantive law related to advanced directives, wills, probate, and guardianship. May invite guest speaker from private bar as well.


Class 4: Substantive Law Continued and a review of existing forms available in this area of law.


Topics: Medicaid and health law




Read introduction to Medicaid and Medicare packet (provided by instructor)


Skim read Idaho Administrative Code,



Assignment before next class: Continue field work and legal research. Final research memo due at Class 5. Bring 2-3 form ideas to next class.


Instructor will lecture on substantive law related to advanced directives, wills, probate, and guardianship. May invite guest speaker from private bar as well.


Class 5: A2J training by Steve Rapp





A2J Author® Authoring Guide, Chapter 1, Pages 1-9


All Inclusive A2J Guided Interview®.



Skill exercise: Bring to class a chosen area of interest and 2-3 form ideas to discuss with the instructor



Assignment before next class: Continue field work and begin working on storyboard. 20 hours of field work to be completed by Class 6.


Review memos and form ideas and discuss with students individually.


Class 6: Plain Language training





Three CALI® lessons that illustrate and teach plain language principles.



Skill exercise: Three CALI® lessons that illustrate and teach plain language principles.



Assignment before next class: Continue doing field work and legal research as needed. Storyboard due at next class.



Instructor will review final memos and provide feedback at Class 6


Class 7: Technology and the Practice of Law: Practical applications and ethical considerations




Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Online Document Assembly Services (2010 Webinar).


HotDocs 10 Developer Installation Guide and Tutorial, Lesson 1


Help Topics for HotDocs Developer 10



Skill exercise: Bring Storyboard and project memos



Assignment before next class: Begin working on Hot Docs template.


Instructor will provide individual feedback on project memos.


Class 8: Hot Docs training





Standards and Practices for HotDocs Server Applications in Legal Services


HotDocs Knowledge Base



Skill Exercise: Continue working on Hot Docs templates.



Assignment before next class: Initial draft of Hot Docs template will be due at next class


Instructor will provide feedback and assistance on templates.


Class 9: Intro to A2J




New York State Courts Access to Justice Program, Document Assembly Programs Best Practices Guide for Court System Development and Implementation Using A2J Author® (April 2011). Pay special attention to Part II: Programming Essentials, pages 13-21.


A2J Authoring Guide v. 3.0



Skill Exercise: Complete initial draft of Hot Docs templates. Begin working on A2J Guided Interview



Assignment before next class: Bring for instructor review initial work on A2J interviews.



Instructor will review Hot Docs templates and provide feedback.


Class 10: A2J Author training ctd.




A2J Author® 4.0 New Features



Skill exercise: Refine Hot Docs templates; continue working on A2J interview.



Assignment before next class: Prepare questions for technical expert


Instructor will review initial work on A2J interviews and provide feedback.


Class 11: Q & A Session with our tech experts and technical advice and assistance on individual projects



Skill exercise: Continue working on A2J interview



Assignment before next class: Prepare to share your interview with the class at next session.


Instructor will assist in reviewing and answering questions.


Class 12: Form Testing and Peer Review


Skill Exercise: Share your A2J interviews with the class with a brief discussion of how your form serves to increase access to justice and receive peer and instructor feedback.



Assignment before next class: Make final edits to the A2J interview based on class feedback. Final interviews due at end of next class.


Instructor will provide feedback and suggestions on individual A2J interviews.


Class 13: Working Session


Skill Exercise: Final interviews due by end of class – tech experts will be available this session to help finalize and work out any issues. Will review your interviews with the tech expert(s).



Assignment before next class: Final Report due by 5 p.m. on 11/22/13.


Instructor will review Final A2J interviews and answer questions about Final Reports.


Class 14: Discussion of How Technology can Increase Access to Justice: Discussion of A2J forms, online intakes, hotlines, social media, video pro se clinics, and other innovations


Reading: Ronald W. Staudt, All the Wild Possibilities: Technology that Attacks Barriers to Access to Justice, 42 Loyola L.A. Law Rev. 1117 (2009).



Skill Exercise: Discuss technology innovations as a means to increase access to justice via online class discussion; post both a comment, question, idea, or response to the reading for peer discussion as well as a comment or response to a class mate’s posting by 8 a.m. on 11/27/13.


Instructor will review Final Reports and will post discussion topics for the class.







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