CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law opened a new technology lab on Wednesday which looks to educate students, alumni and lawyers on new concepts like blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Beginning this school year, the center — dubbed the C|M|LAW Tech Lab — will launch the only law-school based interdisciplinary Cybersecurity and Data Privacy certificate, and a new C|M|LAW Tech certificate.
Officials hope that the lab can provide new opportunities for lawyers to become familiar with different technologies and how they can use them in their practice.
Staying in step with new tech can be difficult for law professionals; The American Bar Association has different publications and a whole section of their website dedicated to resources for it.
Dean Lee Fisher did not immediately return call for comment.
The lab, housed in the law school’s library, was created in partnership with Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. (TCDI), a legal services software company headquartered in North Carolina.
“This unique on-campus program will help train the next generation of legal professionals and provide our clients with an alternative to costly services including document review, exhibits coding and legal research,” said CEO Bill Johnson.
The lab will also offer:
- A “Distinguished Technologist-in-Residence” program
- The eDiscovery Online Professional Certificate Program, one of the first targeted at the growing field of legal support professionals
- A “Continuing Legal Education” series with programs on current technology topics including cybersecurity, blockchain and the “Internet of Things,” which refers to devices wirelessly connected that send data to one another
- New courses in artificial intelligence, privacy law and management, blockchain and legal technology entrepreneurship
Cleveland State is part of a team with researchers at Case Western Reserve University that received a $100,000 one-year planning grant from the National Science Foundation to examine Internet of Things technology in certain Cleveland neighborhoods.
When the project was initially announced in February, blockchain programs were referenced as an offering for the lab. In May, Fisher joined a local team headed up by car dealer Bernie Moreno to try and make Cleveland an epicenter for blockchain technology. Fisher is chairing a team to explore how blockchain could be applied in the legal space.
Moreno also used to be on the Cleveland State Board. His term expired in May.
Harlan Sands, CSU’s president, flew up to Toronto last week with Moreno as one of eight Cleveland leaders to visit the city’s Blockchain Research Institute.
Blockchain is a type of software that allows for entries to be recorded securely in a constantly growing electronic list. Part of blockchain is the ability to create smart contracts.
Smart contracts allow computers to mediate agreements, with parties entering set conditions in a blockchain system for money to be released or lists to be altered.
This comes into play in the legal world because lawyers deal with these kinds of agreements offline. Law professionals could use blockchain to deal with contracts, land titles, corporate filings and more, according to Law Practice Today.