University of Denver Sturm College of Law Legal Research Paper Series
This article, based on a presentation that we gave at the AALS conference in New York in January of 2014, suggests that technology opens up new possibilities for law schools by allowing students from different schools to participate in complex inter-school simulations that can, if carefully prepared, teach important lessons about lawyering skills, behavior, and provide rich opportunities for the development of professional identity. It can, in short, deepen and enrich the experiential learning opportunities that law schools offer. The article does not propose that law school faculty should teach or grade students from another school, but that the faculty can collaborate on problems that are more elaborate and complex than could realistically be produced within one school, and that students from different schools can work together as co-counsel, or in opposition to each other, in a variety of projects, with students from other schools serving as judges or arbitrators, witnesses, and clients. In this way, faculty members teach and grade their own students but both faculty and students gain the advantages brought by collaborative learning environments across schools – enabled by technology.
The article does not discuss a completed project, but rather describes and explores the possibilities presented by the rapidly-changing world of internet communication, and will suggest that this approach is something that can be undertaken now with minimal cost for the technology and by the faculty currently teaching in law schools. In other words, this approach suggests one way in which law schools can offer their students a richer and more engaging learning experience that will go at least some of the way to answering the questions about how they can offer realistic experiential learning opportunities and help students graduate "practice ready" lawyers without incurring significant, or even any, additional cost.