A University of Waikato-led project aims to equip future lawyers with the skills to handle the changes technology is creating in legal practice.
“My vision is that every law graduate in New Zealand comes out of University with at least a basic understanding of how technology impacts law and the changing marketplace for legal services,” says Waikato Dean of Law, Associate Professor Wayne Rumbles.
Associate Professor Rumbles is the lead researcher of the Technology in Legal Education for New Zealand (TeLENZ) project. It is funded by a two-year $350,000 grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation.
The project will create an online community and toolkit for legal academics with a series of resources to be used, ranked into introductory, intermediate and advanced. The toolkit will include lesson plans, assessments and possibly even apps for students and academics to use.
The project is that brings together all six of the law schools around New Zealand, with representatives from each forming a working group, with subject groups under each.
“This part of the project is really important for the future as New Zealand is a small jurisdiction, so we should be sharing knowledge across faculties,” Associate Professor Rumbles says.
At present the project is scheduled to run until June 2021, but by early 2020 there will be some resources ready to go, he says.
The TeLENZ website says it will create solutions and content to assist academics to create papers, develop resources, and support academics with teaching information related to technology, cyber security and AI fields of law.
"With a collaborative approach, TeLENZ seeks to refine and share IT-related aspects of pedagogy in the law curriculum through learning spaces in New Zealand with a view to introduce new IT-focused material into core legal subjects for second and third year law programmes."