2015: The Year Of The Law School

TechnologyHow An Adjunct Professor Teaches Law Students Trial Technology

Technology seems to be an unstoppable force. It inundates our lives and soon it will do the same within legal education and the legal system. Consequently, some law professors are starting to incorporate it more and more in their classrooms. Bonnie Kipp is a judicial assistant for the United States Court of Appeals and an adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Law is one of those professors.
Kipp teaches a course called Technology Enhanced Trial Advocacy in the college’s Trial Practice Institute. She is a certified trainer on electronic evidence presentation software and has been instructing students on how to use trial technology since 2005. Kipp’s courtroom was one of the first to require lawyers to use technology for presentations and she quickly saw that many lawyers struggled to do the same.
Like virtually all other technological advances, Kipp sees the use of the trial technology increasing. In fact, it has grown so prominent that she believe all law students should be trained on how to use it.
“Electronic evidence presentation is only going to grow from here,” Kipp says in an Above The Law article. “When I was the courtroom deputy for Judge McKeague back when he was a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, our courtroom was in it from the ground floor. The judge was one of the first to require that lawyers use it during trials and this type of technology is only gaining momentum. In our experience, the benefits are many and it actually cuts trial time in half. So teaching law students how to use it is my way of giving them a niche and preparing for them for the future.”
In her course, Kipp teaches her students how to use evidence presentation software like Trial Director and apps like Keynote, Timeline 3D and TrialPad. Additionally, she teaches them the pros and cons of using each kind of software. Right now, Kipp sees her students develop skills in her course as unique and attractive to potential employers. These types of skills could prove to be invaluable in such a tough job market.
Kipp says she always instructs her students to practice as much as possible and have a plan B. After all, you never know when the technology might fail.
Source: Above The Law