The John Marshall Law School Leverages Law Practice and Courtroom Technology in Preparing Students for Job Market Success

To meet the demands of a highly competitive legal marketplace, students at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago are getting advanced training in courtroom and law practice management technology.

CHICAGO, Oct. 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The John Marshall Law School has integrated new technological developments to enhance both its course delivery process and the coursework itself. From the classroom to the courtroom, John Marshall students are developing the skills and experience prospective employers look for in hiring law school graduates.

"Technology is impacting our laws, changing the practice of law," says Dean John E. Corkery. "We are preparing our students to be courtroom-ready attorneys and the use of technology is critical to that mission."

iPads Debut in the Classroom

In John Marshall's new Litigation Technology course, each student in the class uses a school-furnished iPad. The course, part of the LLM in Trial Advocacy and Dispute Resolution curriculum, is taught by Professor Mark Shlifka, supervisor of the Trial Technology Unit and executive assistant state's attorney at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

"Our goal is to show students how to use iPads for office management, time management, as well as in a trial," said Susann MacLachlan, director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution. "We are the only law school in the region to supply iPads as part of a course curriculum, and moving forward we will continue to integrate other law practice and courtroom technologies to improve our law students' educational experience."

This Litigation Technology course teaches students the skills necessary to most effectively use the various forms of technology available for litigation. John Marshall added a third state-of-the-art courtroom to accommodate this trial class, using the latest in trial technology, including iPads and video cameras.    

"The Litigation Technology course is designed to teach the skills attorneys will need to present evidence and make arguments using all forms of digital media," MacLachlan said. "The results will be incorporated into effective and persuasive opening statements and closing arguments that the students will present in a courtroom setting."

Students Experience Law Firm Technology

In addition, John Marshall enhances students' professional development by incorporating law firm practice technologies into its curriculum. According to Jim Velco, the school's chief technology officer, "law firms are looking for associates to hit the ground running. We are training our students on the latest in time, billing and document management software, saving potential employers time and money in training these new lawyers.

As part of the law school's focus on practice ready skills training it is bringing in technology experts and vendors of these technologies on a regular basis to demonstrate hands-on the latest in law office management software for students."

Law Degree Distance Education Options Increase

John Marshall also changed how it teaches its students by expanding distance education options. The school's Employee Benefits LLM and MS degrees are now fully online, and graduate degrees in Estate Planning and Intellectual Property Law will soon be available online.

"John Marshall has invested in this technology because we see this as a way many students will prefer to learn in the future," said Robert Nye, professor and director of Distance Education at John Marshall. "These programs are also helping our faculty improve existing classes by incorporating new blended-learning delivery techniques that incorporate better assessment methods. These new methods will help professors measure how well a student is learning the content, so adjustments can be made if needed." 

Interactive Learning Modules Offered

John Marshall also uses technology to augment its highly-ranked Legal Writing Program with online, interactive learning modules. The first module will explain Illinois' new citation system for cases. This particular module will be used in the first-year Lawyering Skills course and offered for free to the legal community as a public service. The law school plans to develop additional modules on various legal topics which will be available online during the next two years.  

For more on John Marshall's current and future technology plans, contact Marilyn Thomas at 312.427.2737or by email at

About The John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago's legal, financial and commercial districts. U.S. News & World Report America's Best Graduate Schools 2012 ranks John Marshall in the top tier of law schools. Its Legal Writing Program is ranked sixth in the nation; Trial Advocacy is 13th and Intellectual Property Law is 20th. John Marshall offers the nation's only graduate Employee Benefits Program. Its program in Information Technology and Privacy Law remains the only graduate law program in the country that emphasizes privacy as part of its core curriculum. The John Marshall Law School remains one of only three law schools in the country offering a graduate program in Real Estate Law.

Marilyn Thomas
Director, Public Relations

The John Marshall Law School
315 S. Plymouth Ct.
Chicago, IL 60604

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