New Website Links Law and Learning

content imageWhen the Faculty of Law needed an innovative way to connect students, faculty, lawyers and entrepreneurs, they turned to the Teaching & Learning Centre’ software development group. The team helped design a unique online site, www.biztechlaw.ca, which allows law students to gain practical experience by answering legal questions from members of the business community.

The site is a virtual medium for the faculty’s Legal Centre for Business and Technology. Visitors can use the site to submit legal questions on a variety of business and technology issues. Behind the scenes, the software tool tracks the “life cycle’ of each inquiry as law students choose questions and draft information. Each reply is then reviewed by a volunteer lawyer in Calgary’s legal community. When approved, the program sends the information back to the original questioner.

The initiative not only provides students with real–life experience but also adds a valuable teaching and learning component to the Faculty of Law curriculum. Students are able to apply course knowledge, fine–tune their legal analysis, and become more independent, inquiry–driven learners. The program also fosters mentorship opportunities between students and members of the local legal community, who generously volunteer their time and expertise to the program. Finally, the site also operates as an important resource for entrepreneurs seeking free legal information.

Faculty of Law Professor Catherine Brown was delighted with the final result. “I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the Teaching & Learning Centre was in working with us on this project. They had the expertise to see what we were trying to do and helped develop and implement an innovative solution that met our needs. We could not have done it without them.”

For more information on software development at the Teaching & Learning Centre, visit http://commons.ucalgary.ca/mediadevelopment/software_development.html or contact Dave Hawes at dhawes@ucalgary.ca or 220–2695.

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