Open Sourced Reporting. How About Open Sourced Law Reviews?

The site uses open source methods to develop good assignments and help bring them to completion; it employs professional journalists to carry the project home and set high standards so the work holds up. There are accountability and reputation systems built in that should make the system reliable. The betting is that (some) people will donate to works they can see are going to be great because the open source methods allow for that glimpse ahead.In this sense it’s not like donating to your local NPR station, because your local NPR station says, “thank you very much, our professionals will take it from here.” And they do that very well. New Assignment says: here’s the story so far. We’ve collected a lot of good information. Add your knowledge and make it better. Add money and make it happen. Work with us if you know things we don’t.

PressThink: Introducing NewAssignment.Net

Note that this is just an idea so far, does not exist yet.  The whole aritcle is rather long, but worth read, so go read it and come back.

Welcome back.  Now, suppose a law review editorial board posted a bunch of ideas for aritcles to a wiki-like site?  We would like to publish articles concerning… Law students view the ideas, chip in some basic research stuff, a case here, a blog there.  Faculty come along and claim the aritcle, pull together the resources, work with their virtual research assistants to create the final article.  Credit is shared, the article is published by the journal.  Comments?

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New Orleans Law Firm Revamps Backups Post Katrina

That revealed a flaw in the law firm’s disaster planning. “We had our data, and it was safe in New Orleans, but it was inaccessible,” he says. “We were protecting our data, but we weren’t fully protecting the processes of our business.”
Zeller has set up a Web-based e-mail system to forward mail so during a blackout when both Baton Rouge and New Orleans are shut down, e-mail would be available through a separate Web site domain.
Also, the law firm has set up a Web site where employees can log their current location in an emergency. The site also contains phone numbers of close friends and relatives who live out of the likely path of hurricanes who will know the locations of employees.
Chaffe McCall has learned that the best disaster recovery planning can’t bring the business back up any faster than the people who work there can learn to cope. “That first week a lot of people were still getting their acts together on a personal level realizing they had just lost everything they owned,” Zeller says.

Law firm retools its backup scenario

There is a lot here for law schools to learn. When disaster strikes, are you prepared? Reminds me of the Law School Emergency Planning Project, described here and talked about at the 2006 Conference for Law School Computing®.  Law schools really need to be working on this sort of thing because when it happens, it’s too late.

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Law Students Online, All the Time

John pointed the CALI staff to this presentation done by Sam Ruby for IBM’s New Paradigms for Using Computers.  In a nut shell the presentation points out the ‘always connected’ nature of today’s teenagers.  Of course these teens are becoming today’s law students.  There was not a lot new for me in the presentation but it did bring into focus the some of the challenges we face in bringing technology to legal academia.

As time marches on  incoming law students are more comfortable with different communication channels having been raised in a world of plentiful bandwidth, cheap cellphones, and ready Internet access.  Unlike some previous technological innovations (word processing, email) the sorts of things that today’s new law students are accustomed to using are available right in the classroom.  That is the real challenge to legal academia and law professors everywhere: how to deal with the pervasiveness of the net in the world of today’s law students.  For us the challenge is to position CALI as a resource for both teachers and students in an environment where the net is always on and the students are always logged in.

We need to be able to provide teachers with resources to harness the possibilities of the pervasive net, to turn it from a distraction in the classroom to a useful teaching tool.  Certainly one way to keep students from surfing the web is to engage them and their computers, focusing them on the task at hand: learning the law.  At the same time we need resources for students that draw them into the new world of collegiality and professionalism that is the practice of law.  Tools that foster the social networking and collaborative skills  they will need to succeed in the practice of law.

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