W. Bruce Lunsford contribution to create Academy for Law, Business + Technology

With apologies for posting a press release as a blog post, the news that W. Bruce Lunsford has pledged $1 million to Chase under the direction of the Law + Informatics Institute for the creation of the the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology is exciting enough for us to share our news.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (May 15, 2013) — The Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law has received a $1 million gift from W. Bruce Lunsford to establish and support the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology.

Lunsford, a 1974 graduate of Chase College of Law, is chairman and CEO of Lunsford Capital, LLC, a private investment company headquartered in Louisville, Ky.

The W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology will be an honors immersion program operated by the NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute. The focus of the program will be to develop “renaissance lawyers” for the Information Age. The Lunsford Academy will provide students with the technological, financial and professional skill sets essential to the modern practice of law.  Through the program’s technology-driven, skills-based curriculum, students will acquire the fundamental skills that will make them more productive for their clients, more attractive to employers and better prepared to practice law upon graduation.

For those interested in learning more about the details of the program, the most comprehensive vision is provided in my forthcoming article from Connecticut Law Review. An working draft of the paper may be found here: Jon M.Garon, Legal Education in Disruption: The Headwinds and Tailwinds of Technology, (Conn. L. Rev. forthcoming) at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040560.

In addition to taking the program’s required and elective law and informatics courses, Chase students participating in the Lunsford Academy will have the opportunity to participate in technology-focused semester-in-practice placements and study abroad programs; they will also be able to seek joint degrees.

Chase College of Law partners with the NKU College of Informatics to offer a Juris Doctor/Master of Business Informatics and Juris Doctor/Master of Health Informatics and with the NKU Haile/US Bank College of Business to offer a Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration.

Professor Jon Garon, director of the Law + Informatics Institute, said the development of the Lunsford Academy is the next step in the evolution of legal education. “In addition to a solid foundation in legal doctrine, theory and practice, law students need business education, information technology and intellectual property knowledge, and law practice management experience,” he said. “These skills will enable students to compete in today’s highly networked, efficient and global business community. The generous donation by Bruce Lunsford enables Chase to meet this challenge and redefine the scope of legal education.”

In recognition of Lunsford’s gift, the academy will be named the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology, upon approval by the NKU Board of Regents.

“We are extremely honored and pleased that Bruce has made this significant investment in our Law + Informatics Institute,” said Dennis R. Honabach, dean of the College of Law. “The Lunsford Academy will provide our law students with invaluable opportunities to become uniquely prepared for the modern practice of law.”

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NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute to Exhibit at the ABA TECHSHOW

NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute will have a booth (No. 803) at the ABA TECHSHOW on April 4-6 in Chicago. As the Law + Informatics Institute continues to develop its national leadership in research and coursework integrating the regulation of information and use of technology into legal education, its participation in the expo will be an opportunity to showcase Chase and explore partnerships with cutting-edge legal technology vendors.  When registering, mention EP1315 to receive discounted registration.

ABA TECHSHOW

Remote Proctoring for the MOOC – an opening for the next wave in privacy excess

For those who herald such things, 2012 was the year of the MOOC – massive open online courses. Most MOOC courses are free, though some providers are attempting to monetize the offerings. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Coursera, the leading provider has exceeded one million students while Udacity is nearing that mark.

The MOOC movement represents a highly disruptive innovation in education. Content is provided for free (or low cost) to the public on a massive scale. While some courses are little more than correspondence programs, others are highly interactive – with student projects, effective feedback, and measurable learning outcomes.

Successful educational institutions will still sell the academic degrees as well as the more intimate experiential learning opportunities. Other universities, struggling financially, tend to see MOOCs as threats to revenue while other critics raise concerns about rigor and engagement.

Ironically, the open access for the MOOC raises concerns about the reliability of the authentication of the test taker. If the certification is valuable, then perhaps one can hire a stand-in to take the course and pass the exam. According to the Washington Post, “security measures suggest that people sometimes cheat in MOOCs, even when there are no course credits or money at stake.”

To expand its business model and improve the reliability of MOOC participation, Coursera has launched a “pilot project to check the identities of its students and offer “verified certificates” of completion, for a fee. A key part of that validation process will involve what Coursera officials call “keystroke biometrics”—analyzing each user’s pattern and rhythm of typing to serve as a kind of fingerprint.”

Keystroke biometrics are recognized for distinguishing between automated computer responses and human responses, so they are quite useful for separating human users from computer bots. They are less commonly used as an identity credential.

The keystroke biometrics are just part of the Coursera approach. It will also use photographs of the student’s ID and of the student taken from the computer to be compared by hand.

The most common way for online courses to be verified is for the student to take the exam at a test center. Such facilities exist throughout the county and sometime universities offer this service to each other as an accommodation for traveling students.

Using ineffective technologies will make a joke out of the credibility for MOOC certification. While the risk of being caught will deter some potential cheaters, it will incentivize others to work around the weak protections and harm the credibility of these programs.

Inevitably, the next step in student monitoring will be to remotely capture photos, video or audio of the students engaged while in the course. Products that remotely control onsite computers such as Apple Remote Desktop, LanSchool, and Net Orbit, can be adapted to the student’s home computer. In 2010, for example, a Philadelphia high school was sued for spying on its students without any prior notification.

Perhaps the use of live biometric voice recognition would improve the reliability and avoid the risk that the system could capture data surreptitiously, but such steps should be taken with caution.

Until the MOOC certificate is part of a college transcript, there is no reason to worry about verification. Schools offering college credit for these courses should extend their academic standards and honor codes to the courses.

Any monitoring of online students should be done in a manner that requires the student to log into the system and complete verification steps. It should not allow the system to reach into the student’s computer or turn on monitoring devices – including keystroke monitors, microphones or cameras. Any system that allows the school to choose when to monitor the student is likely to become intrusive and glean inappropriate information by the school.

There are many effective ways to verify the work of students – computer monitoring should not be one of them.

ABA sends takedown request to ethics opinions; misses the irony

Sam Glover at the Lawyerist.com reported on a takedown request aimed at Ernie Svenson, Ernie the Attorney. The work in question is ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 06-442, which sells for $20.00 on the ABA website. The ABA store also encourages membership, stating

Members of the The Center for Professional Responsibility receive a discount on this book. Join the Center or visit the The Center for Professional Responsibility website to learn more about the valuable resources included with your membership.

 American Bar Association

The ABA asks lawyers to volunteer their time and intellectual efforts, only to commercialize those efforts and sell them at a premium. It has policies demanding copyright from its volunteers that limit the dissemination of knowledge and frustrate the values of open access and improvement for the profession.

Congress recognized the importance of free access to law. The federal government cannot obtain copyright in works it authors – such as laws and reports – because there is no public benefit. State laws are treated as works in the public domain by case law.

Model laws and advisory opinions such as those published here by the ABA are not works in the public domain, so the ABA has every legal right to claim copyright in the works. As a primarily volunteer organization which relies on members time and efforts to create this content, the high prices and limits on access are inconsistent the values of the organization. The irony that a trade professional association dedicated to equal access to justice and the betterment of the profession demands payments for its guidance on how to practice law ethically will not be lost on the public, so why is it lost on the ABA leadership.

In contrast to the ABA’s approach, law schools around the country, including Harvard, Birkbeck, and Universidad de Puerto Rico have created open access to scholarly works. Perhaps the most expansive of resources is the Social Science Research Network, a global library of scholarship across most academic disciplines.

The ABA should continue to sell sophisticated content to willing purchasers written by volunteer authors. But any reports, opinions, or general information should be free to the public. If we wish to remain a self-regulated profession, then it is time to look past the short-term income opportunities and begin to embrace the ideals of the profession.

Join over 300 professionals before space runs out at NKU Security Symposium

 The NKU Security Symposium with the inclusion of the legal track takes place this Friday. It will be a great opportunity to cross-train with security and privacy professionals, programmers, IT specialists and legal specialists. The legal track announcement is below:

2012 NKU Security Symposium

Friday, Oct. 12, 2012
NKU METS Center in Erlanger, KY

Register Now!

The 2012 Security Symposium, for the 6th year in a row, will bring together security professionals for a multi-track conference focused on the various aspects of security in information technology today. The symposium will focus on IT security challenges, best practices, and professional discussions, and will include a legal track focusing on the intersection of law and security. The symposium is presented by the Center for Applied Informatics, NKU Chase Law & Informatics Institute and CincyIP. Four hours of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana CLE credits are anticipated.  This conference is free, but space is limited. Register now!

The Security Symposium is organized into five tracks:

  • Information Security Governance
    This informational track focuses on the understanding and implementation of management policy, procedures, IT audits, continuity planning, and security awareness and training.
  • Software Security
    This track incorporates knowledge about how identity theft is being fought and information
    integrity is being secured by industry ingenuity.
  • Mobile & Computer Forensics
    Learn the latest methods and tools to process and understand digital evidence.
  • Current Topics in Security
    Explore security topics focused around cloud computing, virtualization, mobile, and much more.
  • Legal Issues in Privacy and Security
    This year marks the first year with an additional legal track, enabling the legal professionals to engage with security professionals and those involved with implementation of software security.


Legal Track Presenters:

•  Prof. Jon M. Garon, director of the NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute
•  Prof. Jack Harrison, NKU Chase College of Law
•  Craig Hoffman, Esq., partner of Baker Hostetler
•  Curtis Scribner, an attorney in the Global Privacy and Digital Legal group at Procter & Gamble
Agenda

7:30 – 8:00 AM:  Breakfast

8:15 – 8:30 AM:  Welcome Address

8:30 – 9:30 AM:  General Session I

9:30 – 9:40 AM:  Break

9:40 – 10:40 AM:  LEGAL TRACK: Curtis Scribner on “Issues in Data Privacy”

10:40 – 11:10 AM:   Refreshments and Networking

11:10 – 12:10 PM:  LEGAL TRACK: Prof. Jon M. Garon on “Navigating Through the Cloud – 
                            Legal and Regulatory Management for Software as a Service”

12:10 – 12:45 PM:  Lunch

12:45 – 1:45 PM:  General Session II

1:45 – 2:00 PM:  Break

2:00 – 3:00 PM:  LEGAL TRACK: Craig Hoffman, Esq. on “The Legal Implications of Data Breach”

3:00 – 3:30 PM:  Refreshments and Networking

3:30 – 4:30 PM:  LEGAL TRACK: Prof. Jack Harrison on “E-Discovery – 
                         Legal Issues, Strategies, and Management”

4:30 – 5:30 PM:  Reception

Learn More:
Law + Informatics Blog

Law + Informatics Facebook

NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute

2013 Informatics Symposium announced – focusing on informatics in labor and employment issues.

NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute2013 Law + Informatics Symposium on Labor and Employment Issues The annual NKU Chase Law + Informatics Symposium will be held this academic year on February, 15, 2013 focusing on issues in labor and employment related to informatics, including such topics as candidate screening practices, employee privacy, data security and appropriate policies, gamification in training, and social media use. The program will include a day-long seminar and reception. Presentations delivered at the conference will be published by the Northern Kentucky Law Review. More information is provided below in the conference call for papers. A PDF of the Call for Papers is available.

Call for Papers The Northern Kentucky Law Review and Salmon P. Chase College of Lawseek submissions for the Law + Informatics Symposium on February 15, 2013. The focus of the conference is to provide an interdisciplinary review of issues involving privacy, data aggregation, security, communications, social media management and related topics affecting the legal and business practices involving labor and employment law. The symposium is an opportunity for academics, practitioners, consultants, and students to exchange ideas and explore emerging issues in informatics law as it applies to working conditions and employment practices. Interdisciplinary presentations are encouraged. Authors and presenters are invited to submit proposals on topics such as the following:

Privacy

  • Application of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Federal/state employment regulations regarding privacy
  • HIPAA, FERPA, COPPA, GLBA & other sector-specific privacy issues
  • EU & global privacy laws & policies
  • Bioinformatics in the workplace
  • Data mining of employee information
  • Social media and political change

Collective Bargaining

  • Use of informatics tools for collective bargaining
  • Collective bargaining positions on internet usage, data aggregation and social media
  • Online dispute resolution
  • Ownership of databases & data
  • Contracting & enforcement of agreements over sharing of data
  • Assessment of significant commercial expansions of informatics practices affecting public expectations & norms
Social Media

  • Employee discipline for internet and social media use
  • NLRB responses to social media
  • Use of social media in employee screening
  • Implications for privacy and discrimination lawsuits

  Training and Security

  • Gamification in training
  • Computer security
  • Data protection & obligations regarding data breaches
  • Data reliability, including people’s rights to review & correct collected data
  • Retraining and employee obsolecense

  Other Issues

  • Discrimination and access to public and semi-public information
  • Employee ownership of intellectual property and data information
  • Post-termination obligations of employers and employees
  • Employee contracting and end user license agreements
  • Global issues for similarly situated employees in multiple jurisdictions

Submissions & Important Dates: 

  • Please submit materials to Nkylrsymposium@nku.edu
  • Submission Deadline for Abstracts: October 1, 2012
  • Submission Deadline for Articles: February 1, 2013
  • Symposium Date: February 15, 2013

Law Review Published Article:  The Northern Kentucky Law Review will review, edit and publish submissions in the 2013 Spring Symposium issue.  Articles, as well as case studies and abstracts of research in progress, will be considered for the symposium program for presentation purposes.  Only complete articles, however, will be published in the law review.  Abstracts for these papers will be due no later than the October 1, 2012 deadline and will be accepted on a rolling basis until that time.

Presentations (without publication) based on Abstracts:  The Northern Kentucky Law Review will review and select presentations for the symposium.  If you are interested in presenting without submitting a publishable article, an abstract of the presentation must be submitted by the October 1, 2012 deadline and will be accepted on a rolling basis until that time.

About the Law and Informatics Institute:  The Law + Informatics Institute at Chase College of Law provides a critical interdisciplinary approach to the study, research, scholarship, and practical application of informatics, focusing on the regulation and utilization of information – including its creation, acquisition, aggregation, security, manipulation and exploitation – in the fields of intellectual property law, privacy law, evidence (regulating government and the police), business law, and international law. Through courses, symposia, publications and workshops, the Law + Informatics Institute encourages thoughtful public discourse on the regulation and use of information systems, business innovation, and the development of best business practices regarding the exploitation and effectiveness of the information and data systems in business, health care, media, and entertainment, and the public sector.

For More Information Please Contact:

  • ProfessorJon Garon, Symposium Faculty Sponsor: garonj1@nku.edu or 859.572.5815
  • Lindsey Jaeger, Director of Centers and Institutes Administration: JaegerL1@nku.edu or 859.572.7853
  • Brad Andress, Symposium Editor: andressb1@nku.edu or 812.343.6822

Changing Legal Education Needs to Mirror the Changes in the Legal Profession

Many advocates have been calling for change in legal education this past year, focusing on the debt of students, the effect of Big Law on the practice, the declining legal job market, the value proposition for law school, the need for better experiential learning and a variety of other topics. Among the leaders worth following are Bill Henderson, Nancy Rapoport, Brian Tamanaha, and Richard Suskind.

As part of the Chase College of Law strategic planning process, I recently entered the fray, focusing on one aspect of the changes to the legal practice that I had not seen fully addressed in the academic literature – namely the increasing automation of legal services provided by solo and small to medium sized law firms.

The article is: Legal Education in Disruption: The Headwinds and Tailwinds of Technology.

It is available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040560. You can download the entire article directly here.

Abstract:
By harnessing improvements on communications and computational systems, law firms are producing a revolution in the practice of law. Self-help legal manuals have transformed into sophisticated interactive software; predictive coding can empower clients to receive sophisticated legal advice from a machine; socially mediated portals select among potential lawyers and assess the quality of the advice given; and virtual law firms threaten to distintermediate the grand edifices of twentieth century Big Law. These changes may profoundly restructure the legal practice, undermining the business model for many solo and small firm practices.

This paper focuses on the implications of these profound disruptive changes. It looks at the expectations the market may place on future lawyers and by extension the training necessary for lawyers entering the practice of law. The final section reflects a suggested curriculum and programmatic redesign, highlighting one possible future legal educational model, complete with acquiescence to existing constraints found in American Bar Association and other accreditation regimes.

Part one of the article tracks the changes that automation is bringing to the legal profession from self-help online tools to predictive document drafting and other innovations. It analyzes the potential of the virtual law firm, unbundled (or specialized) legal services and the development of virtual law firm networks that will grow into the standard for small firm practice.

Part two translates these changes for legal education. While much of the core subjects taught in law school today will remain the same (i.e. Contracts, Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Corporation, Tax, etc.) much else needs to change.

  • Like the other advocates for skills training, the article emphasizes clinical and field placement education for students.
  • Like advocates for better instructional design, it calls for law school to each subject like logic and communication skills explicitly rather than hoping that students will glean these skills from the first year classroom discourse.
  • It changes the focus on professionalism by recognizing that law is also a business, requiring law schools to prepare graduates with courses and training on the business of lawyering (including accounting, human resources, business development, legal business ethics, marketing, leadership and management training).
  • It also emphasizes that 64% of law practice is done for business entities and an additional 10% of attorneys work in-house. So the emphasis of law schools should better reflect the kinds of lawyering that are actual taking place. While this does not suggest abandoning litigation or the teaching of how to serve individuals, it requires a more accurate balance so graduates are less surprised by the environment in which they practice law.
  • Finally, it highlights that the nature of business has become global and technical so courses on international business, intellectual property and other fields relevant to the success of one’s clients should comprise the electives. Moreover, the proposal recognizes that many of these courses are better learned from the disciplines where the clients are trained, so interdisciplinary programs with certificates and even joint degrees should be encouraged.
  • The trade-off means that fewer credits and course hours are expended on the core subject matter law school teaches. This will not be a problem since the measure of seat time is a poor approximation of a student’s learning or competency. Instead, competency testing for both skills and knowledge should be integrated throughout the curriculum, allowing students to move at their own pace and demonstrate readiness to leave law school using something more precise than a six-semester schedule.

The paper is a draft, and I truly look forward to the conversation it generates. I would appreciate feedback and hope to post additional blogs on the dialogue as advocates and critics law school incorporate the changes into small firm practice into the debate.