Osgoode Hall Law School expands list of law and technology courses

Out of a total 16 courses, six are new offerings

Osgoode Hall Law School expands list of law and technology courses

Osgoode Hall Law School has expanded the list of law and technology courses in its Juris Doctor program to help students keep up with current technological changes revolutionizing legal practice.

Osgoode associate dean Craig Scott said the law school would offer 16 law and technology courses for the 2022-23 academic year. Of those, six are new: (1) Engineering the Law: Technology and Innovation in Legal Service Delivery; (2) Disability, Technology and Law; (3) Derivatives Law and Crypto-Contracts; (4) Documentary Film as/and Visual Legal Advocacy; (5) Cybercrime; and (6) Current Issues in Law and Technology.

Scott noted that these offerings fall into “law on tech” and “tech in law” categories.

“Law on tech relates to the many substantive new issues that law now has to conceptualize, regulate and adjust itself to,” Scott said. “While tech in law courses concern technology’s impact on how law is practiced, how legal services are delivered, how legal documents or instruments are drafted, and so on.”

Osgoode confirmed that one of two pillar courses titled “Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy and Governance” will be taught by associate professor Jonathon Penney. This course aims to introduce and provide a foundation in law and technology issues to help students identify them, understand and think critically about them, and manage them in practice.

“While the course was offered last year for the first time, COVID restrictions and remote delivery imposed limits,” Penney said. “There will be a new focus and approach this coming year, as we will be meeting in person, including more group work but also a greater emphasis on concrete law relating to emerging tech.”

Meanwhile, the second pillar course titled “Engineering the Law: Technology and Innovation in Legal Service Delivery” will be taught by adjunct professor Al Hounsell. This course seeks to help students understand how client needs have pushed the boundaries of legal service delivery to include elements of data, computer technology, and artificial intelligence.

According to Hounsell, the legal industry has not been traditionally well known for innovation and creativity, but this narrative is “slowly changing.”

“There is a massive opportunity now for new lawyers to reshape the industry by thinking outside the box, using creative design methods and building innovative tools that disrupt current models and delight clients,” Hounsell said. “That’s what this course is about.”

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