Via Legal Scholarship Blog:

Law, Economics, and Technology Post-Graduate Fellowships at Michigan

Microsoft Fellowships in Law, Economics, and TechnologyThe University of Michigan Law School’s Center for Law and Economics is offering several post-graduate Fellowships in Law, Economics, and Technology. The Fellowships support research by individuals who finished graduate school (or are about to finish) and are writing on topics in the intersection between law, economics, and technology. Individuals who practiced in these areas and are interested in returning to academia are also encouraged to apply. The purpose of the fellowships is to foster research and interest in areas of Intellectual Property, Telecommunications, Internet and Cyberlaw, Health Care Law and Policy, and other areas related to information and technology, with emphasis on economics and empiricism as the disciplines of inquiry. The Fellows are expected to devote their time to their proposed course of research, to be in residence at the Law School in Ann Arbor, and to participate in the Law School’s law-and-economics activities. Fellowships are either for one or two semesters. Deadline for Application Submission: February 1, 2009.


Twitter and Online Community

This morning my friend Connie Crosby tripped and sprained her ankle.  Connie, a former law librarian and now independent social media consultant, mentioned it on Twitter.  Within minutes, half a dozen friends responded with sympathy (“owie! owie! sorry to hear this. hope you recover quickly“) and advice (“perhaps selfmedication is in order! wine or beer before noon is allowed under these circumstances.”) I first met Connie online, through her blog, and developed a friendship with her through her frequent guest appearances on the Check This Out! Podcast before we first met in person at a Podcasters Meetup in Toronto over three years ago.

A little later this morning, I exchanged a series of chat messages with another law librarian friend who has accepted a new job and wanted me to suggest some names of librarians to recommend as his replacement.  This was yet another law librarian friend I first met online (first through his blog, then through Twitter) whom I might not otherwise have encountered, but who has become a good friend (and part of my Fantasy Law Library team.)

I’ve just come back from lunch with my partner Kristina Lively, who is also webmaster for University at Buffalo Law School. Kristina and I first met in Second Life, and after a few months of chatting for hours online–and falling in love–we met in real life at her then home in Washington DC.  A few months later Kristina moved to Buffalo, where we share our life and work with our colleagues and friends.  We spent part of our lazy Saturday afternoon together planning the next Buffalo Tweetup, an almost-monthly opportunity for folks in the Buffalo area who happen to use Twitter and other social media to get together for drinks and conversation.

Two weeks ago Kristina and I spent the weekend at the Niagara on the Lake Podcasting and Social Media Meetup with our old friends Connie Crosby, Keith Burtis, Mark Blevis, Wayne MacPhail, and new friends John Meadows, Bill Deys, Sean McGaughey, and others–all people we first met online.

In just over three weeks Kristina and I will be going to Podcamp Montreal, where (at last count) 267 social media users from all over Canada (and a handful of Americans), all of whom know each other through podcasts, blogs, and Twitter, will be getting together to share ideas and simply to have fun.

Can someone explain to me how all of this constitutes an “imagined community,” and how it lacks “the subtleties of types of connection possible in the meat world”?

(Cross-posted at Out of the Jungle.)

Interview on BlogTalkRadio

Yesterday afternoon I was the guest on The Law Librarian, hosted by Richard Leiter and Brian Striman.  Rich is Director of the Schmid Law Library and Professor of Law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law.  Brian is Professor of Law Library, Head of Technical Services, and Catalog Librarian at Schmid Law Library.  This was the second installment of their occasional call-in Internet talk show.  We talked about Web 2.0 tools and gadgets, social networking, and the upcoming AALL annual meeting.  Give it a listen, and be sure to listen again for the next episode.

CALI Conference 2008: Video Production and Ongoing Transformation in Legal Education

Law schools traditionally utilized video for the instructional needs of students in such courses as trial advocacy and depositions. However, a near two decade migration of video technology from an analog format to a digital technology has had profound impact on the way educators and professionals think about video services. No longer just a recording service, law media departments have transformed into a serious production operation offering more creative ways to generate and use video content in legal education and other related applications. With the arrival of affordable production, postproduction and distribution technologies there also comes the corresponding opportunity for the production of a quality product beyond the mediocre recordings of the past. The result is the expansion of services into new areas that include support of legal documentary filmmaking classes, interactive teaching with video technology, distance education, law school marketing and conference and event coverage. This has inevitably resulted in the need for better trained personnel with the necessary skills for scripting, producing and editing materials for law school applications. It has also resulted in practical analyses of how the service is used, and how best to make cost effective use of it in the near future.

This presentation will cover the practical aspects of setting up and maintaining a law school video operation with special attention given to technique and the use of affordable technologies to create a quality project. Part of the discussion will include methods of video distribution, such as via streaming or recorded physical format, along with the criteria for selection. In addition, mention will be made of the challenges of managing service growth within the reality of dwindling budgetary resources.

Examples of productions will be integrated into the program.

Nefeli Soteriou
Associate for Insructional Production Support
soteriou at buffalo dot edu

Nefeli Soteriou is our wonderful video production professional at UB Law.  We created the position and hired Nefeli in response to growing demand for high-end video production both for instruction and law school promotion.

Nefeli was trained in film and digital arts.  First thing: know your audience.  As this is her first CALI conference, she doesn’t know her audience yet 🙂  So she decided to hide behind her camera and interview some of her colleagues at UB Law.

Mobile production setup: video camera with monopod, wireless mic.

Demo: A variety of applications of video at UB Law.

Clip: Joe Gerken (now UB Law Reference Librarian, in 1986 a clinical professor) did a mock video of a complete criminal trial.  Law students played the roles in the video.  Played the video back in class, students were expected to make evidentiary objections, with Joe as the judge.  Used the video for three semesters.

Clips: 2008 clips of Mediation and Trial Technique.  Now we collaborate with theater students.

Clip: Law Librarian/spokesmodel Karen Spencer: orientation to research in the Law Library.

Clip: UB Law Clinical Programs (still photos with voiceover).

Production method: Lightweight, mobile equipment that can be operated by one skilled operator.

More high-end production: Professor Teri Miller’s documentary project, Encountering Attica.

Debate about consumer-type vs. professional-quality videocameras.  Nefeli likes high-end cameras.

CALI Conf 2008: Voices of American Law Project

Speaker Wayne Miller, Director of Educational Technologies, Duke University School of Law

This series of documentary videos provides a unique view on key constitutional cases in recent American legal history. In each case, participants are interviewed and profiled; locations and actual documents are shown; and a rich, coherent narrative brings you up to the point of the supreme court decision. In this session, we explore how this project was begun and how it has developed; what resources are necessary; and how we are making it available to the law school community.

Project begun in 2002

Series of documentaries on important legal cases.  Go beyond written legal opinions to show context and impact.  Show factual and legal context, don’t try to explain the law in detail. Show how legal decisions have important effects on ordinary people.

Speaker: Alex Anderson, Video Production Specialist, Duke University School of Law

Professor selects cases to cover.  Two student researchers compile info for review.  Make initial contacts, acquire permissions, make travel arrangements.  Try to schedule three interview in a day.

2-4 individuals: Professor, videographer/producer, 2 student associates.

Camera: Canon XL-1.  Lowe light kits, light stands, tripods, monitor, extension cords, tapes, lavalier mics, gaffer tape, etc.

Lighting setup: fill light above camera, key light 45 degrees from camera, back light almost directly behind subject behind camera frame.

Video recording: producer asks questions.  Be sure to get written permissions.

Later, shoot B-roll footage (context, neighborhood, etc.)

Post production: review, import, create rough cut, finishing touches.  Narration etc.

How is it all funded?  “Different sources of money over the years.  Initial funding was a private endowment.”

Showed examples of rough cut and final edit.

See  Videos are on sale on DVD.

Speaker: Richard Mixter, Director, Digital Product Development, Aspen Publishers

Videos appeal to students who grew up in rich media environment.  Aspen saw an opportunity to partner with Duke.  Duke hosts the site and sells the DVDs; Aspen publishes associated teachers’ materials.


Narrator: professional voice actor for NPR.

Currently no plans to expand beyond constitutional law cases.

Copyright issues as you expand from educational to for-profit applications?  There have been some at the beginning; the music is license, and we’re very careful now to avoid permissions issues.

Security Theater

Michael Froomkin at writes:

Boing Boing reports that TSA is now requiring that you remove all electronic devices from your carry-on bags, including cables etc. and place them in a separate bin to be scanned at the security checkpoints. I could hold the line up ten minutes myself given all the gear I travel with…

No word at present about this new assault on air travel at TSA’s new oh-so-friendly PR blog (“Liquids cover 70% of the earth and they also make up a good percentage of our comments from the traveling public.”).

Don’t let the smiling faces fool you: the more we engage in security theater and ‘protect’ against minimal threats to look good while diverting resources from things that matter, the more that any hypothetical enemies are laughing.

The Future of Legal Research: Teaching the Teachers

A symposium sponsored by

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Chicago, Illinois

May 18, 2007

  • Goals
    • Gain familiarity with adult learning theory as applicable to legal research instruction
    • Give students experience and confidence in face-to-face and classroom teaching
    • Teach students to use technological tools for asynchronous instruction
  • Assignments
    • Weekly presentations on readings
    • Pair presentations on legal research topics
    • Podcast introductions to legal research topics
    • Formal instruction: legal research clinics
  • Tools used
    • Powerpoint (disfavored)
    • Blogs and wikis (not emphasized)
    • Skype
    • Podcasting
  • Conclusions and lessons learned
    • Live instruction is hard to schedule
    • Podcasting can be surprisingly effective
    • Asynchronous instruction can meet students’ needs better than face-to-face instruction