What can law schools do to help newly minted lawyers be technologically prepared? 

A LexisNexis-funded study underway at the Berkman Center of Harvard Law School seeks to recommend “how next-generation law school curricula can preserve the fundamentals of critical thinking and legal history, while at the same time equipping graduates with technology training and skills.” Gene Koo, the fellow leading the study, has a blog post at Law School Innovation seeking comments.

The LexisNexis press release states that “Young lawyers are highly motivated to embrace emerging technologies such as e-discovery and early case assessment.” Perhaps, but one older law student with a tech background told me that his classmates are not particularly comfortable or facile with technology.

Law students today are undoubtedly more tech savvy now than 20 years ago. But just how receptive to and interested in learning new technology are they? They probably rank low in that regard, at least relative to their peers studying other professions. Ultimately this is an empirical question but my experience in large law firms is that “if you build it, they will come” does not work, even with freshly minted, supposedly tech-savvy lawyers.

I’ve left a comment to this effect at Gene’s post. I encourage you to think about the question he raises and provide input. This is one small opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the academy and actual law practice.