Catherine Dunham and Steve Friedland co-author journal article on modernizing legal education in the 21st Century
In the Spring 2009 edition of the John Marshall Journal of Computer and Information Law, Elon Law's Catherine Dunham, professor and associate dean for academic affairs, and Steve Friedland, professor and director of Elon Law's Center for Engaged Learning in the Law, co-authored "Portable Learning for the 21st Century Law School: Designing a New Pedagogy for the Modern Global Context."
Discussing the effect of portable technology and technological advances on the legal classroom, Dunham and Friedland call for the acceptance of this portable technology in legal teaching methods in order to encourage learning and to keep up with tech-savvy law students.
“Rapid changes in portable media devices have revealed a growing disparity between traditional legal education and law practice,” Dunham and Friedland write. “The transformation of the practice and business of the law call for a change in legal education to meet the demands of an increasingly global profession.”
Suggesting methods for the use of portable technology by legal educators, Dunham and Friedland encourage the use of podcasts and online outlining tools such as “wiki” to meet the needs of 21st century law students. They also encourage consideration of the use of web platforms, like Blackboard and TWEN, and even live blogging about course content among students in the classroom.
Dunham and Friedland theorize that the “fixed-location” approach to legal education, which provides learning opportunities only during lecture time inside the classroom, should be reconstructed to provide greater learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.
"Advances in technology provide opportunities for law schools to meet the changing demands of the 21st century," the article states, "Intentionally addressing learning environments offers law schools the institutional opportunity to implement some of the ideas found in the Carnegie and Best Practices Reports without a total overhaul of the existing system."