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SEAALL 2017

March 30 - April 1, 2017, Raleigh, NC

Thursday, March 30

SEAALL Institute - Continuing the Conversation: Identifying, Teaching, and Assessing Technological Competency

Following on the heels of the SEAALL/SWALL institute in Dallas last year, program proposals for our meeting in Raleigh indicated that technology competency was still on our members’ minds. This year’s institute will offer speakers from academia and practice to discuss what it means for our students (and soon-to-be associates) to be technologically competent, and how we can assess whether such competency has been achieved. The institute will discuss not only legal education’s role in teaching technology competence, but it will also address what law firms expect new associates to know, with the goal of identifying how the academy and practice can work together to identify skill gaps in this area. The institute will also address the ethical requirements of being technologically competent (and what can happen when an attorney is not), and how some states are explicitly requiring continuing legal education hours in technology. We hope you will join us in continuing this very important conversation.

7:00 am - 12:00 pm Registration open

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Breakfast, Capital Room

9:00 am - 9:05 am Opening Remarks - Jason Sowards, Associate Director for Public Services & Lecturer in Law, Vanderbilt Law School; SEAALL Vice President and Chair of the Program Committee
9:05 am - 10:05 am
Session 1

Setting the Stage: Technological Competence in Legal Education & Ethical Compliance, Phyllis Craig-Taylor, Dean and Professor of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law; Nichole P. McLaughlin, Assistant Ethics Counsel & District Bar Liaison for the North Carolina State Bar; Jeff Ward, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Director of Start-Up Ventures Clinic, Duke University Law School

This introductory session brings together law school administration, faculty, and the state bar for a discussion. Panelists include a law school dean, a governing faculty member tasked with assessing the technology education needs of current law students and addressing these needs in the law school curriculum, and an ethics specialist with a state bar.  Presenters will speak about the changes in legal education, how legal competence should be incorporated and assessed, and the pitfalls for attorneys who have not kept up with how legal technology has affected legal practice.

10:05 am – 10:15 am Break
10:15 am – 11:15 am
Session 2

Our Students, Their New Associates: Identifying Technological Skill Gaps and Evolving Technological Competency Expectations, Skip Lohmeyer, Chief Information Officer, Parker Poe; Meredith Williams, Chief Knowledge Management Officer, Baker Donelson; Todd Venie, Associate Director, Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center, University of Florida, Levin College of Law

This moderated panel discussion will feature two law firm technology and knowledge professionals, and focus on technologies that new lawyers will encounter day-to-day in their practice, common technological knowledge/skills gaps of attorneys, and the role of technology in law firms, including changes related to artificial intelligence.

11:15 am – 12:00 pm
Session 3

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Environment, Kris Niedringhaus, Associate Dean of Library and Information Services and Associate Professor, Georgia State University College of Law; Carol Watson, Director, Alexander Campbell King Law Library, University of Georgia School of Law

Last year’s announcement that Baker Hostetler hired IBM’s Ross as its first AI lawyer sent shock waves through the legal community. The introduction of a robot lawyer into a law firm caused some pundits to predict a legal apocalypse. Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the practice of law. Or does it? Join us for a discussion about the impact of AI in the legal environment. Topics will include the definition of artificial intelligence, the history of AI’s development, as well as big law’s approach to AI and how it is currently being used in the legal environment. We’ll discuss whether law is easy or difficult for AI to learn and engage the audience in a conversation about AI’s potential for disrupting legal research and other areas of legal practice. Finally, we’ll consider what the development of AI means for our instruction and research strategies.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch, Capital Room
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Session 4

Teaching the Law & Technology Course, Maureen Cahill, Student Services Librarian, Alexander Campbell King Law Library, University of Georgia School of Law; Christina Glon, Assistant Law Librarian for Reference, Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library, Emory University Law School; Jason Tubinis, Information Technology Librarian, Alexander Campbell King Law Library, University of Georgia School of Law

Working in the legal industry, you may feel like learning about technological advancements is not a priority. However, recent years have seen a major increase in the number of law schools offering “Technology in Legal Practice” courses. Often, it falls to tech-savvy librarians to teach these courses, but what are the practical implications of that decision? Join us for a discussion of the creation and evolution of these courses at two universities. Topics covered will include gaining support for a course proposal and the many possible structures and topics for legal tech courses. Interested firm librarians will gain insight into what exactly their newest associates are being taught as they prepare to enter the workforce, and, perhaps more importantly, what they are missing.

2:00 – 3:00
Session 5

Coming Full Circle:  Making the Pitch for Technological Competency, Ken Hirsh, Director of the Robert S. Marx Law Library and Professor of Practice, University of Cincinnati College of Law; Katie Brown, Deputy Director, Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library, Charleston School of Law; Meredith Williams, Chief Knowledge Management Officer, Baker Donelson (Charlotte)

In October, the Florida Bar announced, "Effective January 1, 2017, each member shall complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of approved continuing legal education activity every 3 years...3 of the 33 credit hours must be in approved technology programs which are included in, not addition to, the regular 33 credit hour requirement," thereby becoming the first State to adopt a mandatory technology CLE for bar members. After the announcement from the Florida Bar several bloggers speculated that other states will soon follow with similar requirements. With the spotlight now on legal technology and training, librarians, many who have interest in this area, can step forward to either provide or facilitate legal technology training for these new or future lawyers are still matriculating. This program will wrap up the discussion from the day by providing a forum to take the concepts discussed and through brainstorming and group work come up with initiatives to most effectively expose new lawyers and law students to the legal technology needed in practice today. But coming up with an initiative and a determination to execute is only half of the work of bringing an idea to realization.  The other key element for any new program or initiative is the pitch to the stakeholders.  The program will discuss the art of the pitch and best practices for creating a pitch that will motivate the stakeholders at your organizations to give the approval. 

The format for the program will have very limited traditional presentation at the top and middle. The bulk of the program will be spent in small discussion group, brainstorming, presentation of ideas to bolster the technology curriculum at our institutions and preparing a pitch for the stake holders to take back with you to your own organization.


2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Registration open

3:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Library Tours

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Opening Reception