Legal Education Commons Launches with Open Access to 700,000 Court Decisions
LEC is an online source for legal academia to freely find and share open educational materials.
Ill., January 26, 2008 – Starting today, legal educators will have the
capability to search, make use of, and share more legal educational
materials than ever before. The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal
Instruction (“CALI”), in collaboration with Harvard’s Berkman Center
for Internet and Society, is launching an open, searchable collection
of resources designed specifically for use in legal education: a “Legal
Education Commons” (“LEC”).
teachers of law have materials and notes they use in teaching,” says
John Mayer, CALI Executive Director. “Many freely share their materials
with colleagues, but there has never been a singular searchable,
taggable space to serve that function for the entire legal academy,” he
explains, “until now.” The LEC is available online at http://www.cali.org/lec.
FINDING TEACHING MATERIALS IN LEC
Legal Education Commons launches with over 700,000 federal court
decisions readily available to its users. This initial collection of
cases from public.resource.org makes the LEC one of the largest
gatherings of case law freely available in one place under a creative
has also donated 300 original illustrations from its popular online
tutorials, “CALI Lessons,” making the Legal Education Commons the first
and largest pool of free images designed specifically for use in legal
SHARING TEACHING MATERIALS IN LEC
the LEC opens with an extensive collection of court cases and images,
it can expand its collection of resources only through contributions
and donations from the legal education community.
implores faculty and staff at CALI member schools to share any files
from personal collections that may facilitate learning amongst the
legal education community. “Especially as we increasingly garner more
participation and sharing from legal educators,” says Mr. Mayer, “the
Legal Education Commons will be a great, non-commercial tool for those
who are both teaching and learning the law.”
and staff at CALI member schools may upload nearly any type of file –
from most text documents to presentations and MP3’s as large as 50 MB –
and share it with the LEC community under a Creative Commons Share
Alike license. The Creative Commons license allows the author to retain
copyright in the material, but allows others to use, share, and make
derivative works so long as proper attribution is made and the
derivative is licensed under this, or a compatible, license.
If you would like to find current LEC resources or upload and share your own files, visit http://www.cali.org/lec.
is a non-profit consortium of
law schools with a mission to improve legal education through
innovation. CALI was incorporated in 1982 by the law schools of Harvard
and the University of Minnesota. Today CALI has offices at the law
schools of the University of Minnesota, Chicago-Kent, and Emory. The
consortium welcomes membership from law schools, paralegal programs,
law firms, and any organization that wishes to learn more about the
law. Over 200
law schools are a part of
. More information is available at http://www.cali.org.
ABOUT JOHN MAYER
John Mayer is an expert in the use of technology and innovation in legal education. He has served as the Executive Director of
since 1994 and has worked in the field of technology/innovation in
legal education for over 20 years. Mr. Mayer has a BS in Computer
and an MS in Networks and Telecommunications from the Illinois
Institute of Technology. He is available for comments and questions
related to legal education and technology. Contact John at