And Why Not, May I Ask?

Peter Lattman, writing in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog (emphasis added):

The new rules will require litigants to produce relevant “electronically stored information.” … Alvin Lindsay, a partner with Hogan & Hartson, laid out for the WSJ the implications of the new rules. “Lawyers will now have to know about their clients’ computer architecture: How do they store their data? How do their computer systems operate? This is not something they teach in law school.”

And why not?

And why not?

i’ll answer with another question: what should be excised from the law school curriculum in order to make room for IT and related topics? or, put another way, what portion of a lawyer’s general education should be relegated to specialized education in order to make room for IT?

given that you have more experience with law school than i do, i’m counting on you to tell me if my question even makes sense. :)


Feh. We talked about this issue in my Internet Law class today.

I thought lawyers were supposed to be good at getting themselves up to speed on the pertinent topics of a case. Three years of school can’t possibly teach you about every species of things you might deal with in your career, but why does it follow that you shouldn’t be expected to handle them?

I’m not advocating cutting any “general education” to include IT topics. I just think that any law student who wants a solid introduction to basic IT issues as they affect the core activities of litigation, client representation, and law office management really ought to be able to obtain one. That’s just something else that ought to be present in the elective curriculum, in the same way that many other specialized courses are.

And my question wasn’t meant to be wholly dismissive—there may be some good reasons why these things aren’t appropriately taught in law schools. (But if so, I think it requires acknowledging, as not everyone is willing to, that certain standard parts of law training are being handled outside of law school, and asking whether this is a good thing.)

That knowledge of IT as it affects the practice of law could be something that one would just assume won’t be taught in law school struck me as noteworthy.