CALI, day 2: Case management systems for law school clinics

by Paul Maharg on 20/06/2008

I’m at this session to see what it can say to me about SIMPLE and case management. The obvious use in education is CM and clinic – about a third of the audience are here from that background. Use of calendar entries, completed documents, case notes and timeslips — rules-based calendaring, sort of workflow stuff. Examples include TimeMaters, Amicus Attorney, Abacus Law, Practice Master. Normally software is free, but development and training aren’t.

An administrator, from a clinic, took a case study of two clinics and an externship, and examined how TimeMatters could be used by students and staff. Students complained that paper was used in firms, why change? Ricardo, another member of the team recommended that anyone thinking of using such software should assess needs with clinic faculty first, followed by software research. Lessons learned included stating clearly the benefits to students and faculty, being aware of the learning curve, and taking care of the support issues. Eg on presenter created training modules in a wiki:

Some interesting ideas, but curiously little on the educational effect of such software on the clinic experience, which I found odd. Still — picked up some ideas about how to represent the calendaring function in SIMPLE.

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