The Diploma Centre of the Law Society of Ireland’s Use of Technology

July 21st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

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Rory O'Boyle, Diploma Manager, Law Society of Ireland

Rory O’Boyle, Diploma Manager, Law Society of Ireland

In 2014 the Diploma Centre launched the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Aviation. This course ran for six weeks and covered an introduction to aviation leasing and finance and its beginnings in Ireland, technical basics, legal, financial and commercial.  In 2015 we focused on the growing area of Technology Law. Technology has brought exponential change not only in our personal lives but also in professional practice, in terms of how legal practice is managed, the software used and the legal issues confronting clients in business. The MOOC, ‘Understanding the law in a digital age’, explored emerging issues of relevance to entrepreneurs who seek to exploit opportunities in this digital age and to existing organisations who must engage online to prosper. It also examined the importance of regulation, data protection, online privacy and the legal implications of rapidly-growing use of social media.

Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diplomas, Law Society of Ireland

Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diplomas, Law Society of Ireland

Our 2016 MOOC ‘Privacy, a human right for the digital age’, was delivered online over five weeks and comprised presentations from experts in data protection and digital privacy, live online discussions and assessments, and the balance between an individual’s right to privacy and the efficient use of data by companies and other organisations. Specific content such as cyber security threats, the EU-US Privacy Shield – or the ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement as it is known – and the impact of emerging technology, including drones and ‘the internet of things’, are extremely topical and of interest to a wide range of people.
In 2017 we delivered a MOOC on the topic of ‘Employment Law in the digital era: Brexit, borders and offices without walls; challenges and impacts in uncertain times’. This was our biggest free online course to date, and attracted over 3,200 students. The course explored contemporary employment issues including social media in the workplace, equality and the law, dispute resolution mechanisms and hiring post-Brexit: why Ireland works as an alternative.
The MOOC has vastly increased our ability to provide free, accessible, on-demand and insightful content to our members and the wider community. However, it is the international dimension that has been truly game-changing. Participants from countries as wide-ranging as Botswana, Brazil, Latvia and Australia are now – digitally, at least – sitting side-by-side engaging with our Irish legal experts,” “The great number of participants illustrates how relevant and up to date the course material is,” according to Law Society Director of Education T P Kennedy.
We will also be running a new MOOC in 2018, Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information early next year.

The training of lawyers in the 21st century

January 30th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

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Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCNE Training conference on 14th December 2017

Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCBE Training conference on 14th December 2017

This is a short blog by Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja, OTT outlining key points from his intervention at the CCBE conference on Training of Lawyers, challenges and opportunities, Brussels, 14 December 2017.

I have been teaching advocacy to students, bar exam candidates, and experienced attorneys for almost 15 years. What I have learned, through a series of trials and errors, is that students learn what they want to learn. And only what they want to learn.

Based on this experience I argue that continuing legal education in the 21st century should, above all, be a positive experience to those we wish to educate.

The following are, what I consider, the four cornerstones of the positive learning experience.

Go online, go live
Lawyers are chronically time constrained. So take legal education online whenever you can. If a lawyer can save an hour or two of travel time, he or she just might spend a good part of the time saved learning something new.

If you want to lecture, broadcast it live. Livestream lecture with a real time chat is a great way on engaging students from the comfort of their own office or home.

Show, don’t tell
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. If you do not agree with this, show your students how it’s done. It’s easy enough to say that you should write clearly and concisely. Following that instruction is the hard part.

Lawyers must apply law to concrete problems. Continuing legal education should help them do that, which is why continuing legal education should be all about application.

Doing is learning
Sitting still and listening someone talk about the law is, even for most lawyers, dreadfully boring. Don’t put your students’ brain into hibernation.

Instead, activate your students. Ask questions. Create problems. Make them do the work, because that’s what learning requires. Hard work. Doing stuff with your brain. Not having it done for you by someone else (the teacher).

Be a coach
People avoid things which cause them embarrasment. Never make people feel bad about themselves, because most of them will not study harder to avoid further embarrasment. Instead, they will take the easy way out, which is to avoid your lectures.

So, accept everyone come in “as is”. You have succeeded as a teacher, if they leave equipped with more knowledge than they came in. And more importantly, with a hunger to learn more.

Jarkko Männistö
Attorney, LL.D.

This posting is an adaptation of the speech Jarkko gave on 14 December in Brussels in the CCBE Seminar titled “Training of lawyers, challenges and opportunities”.

Jarkko

Jarkko

Save the Date: CCBE Training Conference, 14 Dec. 2017, Brussels

August 24th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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Please note that the Conference will be held in English.

Further information will follow in the coming weeks.

Streetlaw Best Practice Conference, 7-8 September 2016

August 1st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Streetlaw is the term often used to describe university public legal education programmes.

Many universities in the UK and Ireland send law students into schools, community groups and other organisations to educate people on their legal rights and responsibilities. Streetlaw utilises an interactive methodology which encourages participants to actively engage and to understand how the law relates to them.

Inspired by the first International Street Law Best Practices Conference, held in South Africa earlier this year, Birmingham Law School will host the first regional UK and Ireland event. It will take place at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. During this interactive two day conference, participants will share Streetlaw best practice from across the globe. The conference will cover:

  • Different models for community engagement through Streetlaw;
  • Sample Streetlaw best practice sessions;
  • How to design your own Streetlaw sessions;
  • Tips and ideas for developing your Streetlaw programme; and
  • Incorporating Streetlaw into the curriculum.

If you have a best practice session that you would like to share at the conference, please email Linden Thomas l.thomas@bham.ac.uk with the details.

UK and Ireland Streetlaw Conference 7-8 September, Birmingham Law School..

Organised by: 

  • Patrick Cahill (Queen Mary University of London),
  • Richard Grimes,
  • John Lunney (Law Society of Ireland), and
  • Linden Thomas (University of Birmingham)

Conference fee: £50 per person*

Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

How to book: You can register your place by visiting the online shop of the University of Birmingham.

Please note that places at the conference are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.