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Technology, Law, and Leadership Seminar – Fall 2020


For each class, three columns are listed. All three columns contain required reading, watching, and/or listening materials.

Each item is identified in one of three ways, to indicate how you can access it:

  • [WWW] indicates that the item is on the World Wide Web, that is, it’s free for reading and/or downloading on the open Internet. In almost every case, materials designated [WWW] below are also available as pdf documents in the TWEN and Canvas sites for this course.
  • [YouTube] indicates the the item is on YouTube. Each YouTube video listed below is approximately 1 hour long.
  • [TwC] indicates that the item can be found as a pdf document in the TWEN (“Course Materials” subsection) and Canvas (“Files” subsection) sites for this course. Each reading is numbered to correspond to the appropriate class section and identified by the first author’s last name.

The readings are front-loaded, so that the workload is heavier at the start of the semester and lighter toward the end. The purpose of the front-loading is to give students more time and space to work their research papers into final form.

The biographies of the authors and speakers are provided here. Many of the works assigned below are related to larger works.

Recommended but not required: For continuing looks at the economic and technological challenges facing the legal profession today, I strongly encourage students to take a look at articles on these two websites:

And, for podcasting fans, these podcasts:

Class 1 (the first day of class) (Monday, August 24):

Lawyers in history. Read the following:

  • [TwC] Robert Gordon, The American Legal Profession, 1870–2000 (2008) [53 pp.]

Innovation and leadership. Read and watch the following:

The law and politics of technology. Read the following:

  • [TwC] Martin Campbell-Kelly, et al., Computer: A History of the Information Machine (2014) [34 pp.]
  • [TwC] Langdon Winner, Do Artifacts Have Politics? (1980) [15 pp.]

(Video recording of the first hour of Class 1)

Class 2 (Monday, August 31):

Class 3 (Monday, September 7) (Labor Day):

Friday, September 11: The short summary of the research paper topic is due.

Class 4 (Monday, September 14):

Class 5 (Monday, September 21):

New roles for law and lawyers. Read the following:

Ethics, values, and power in leadership. Read the following:

Class 6 (Monday, September 28):

Systems thinking and problem solving in law. Read the following:

Leadership tools and skills. Watch the following:

Tools for governance. Read the following:

Class 7 (Monday, October 5):

Friday, October 9: The outline of the research paper is due.

Class 8 (Monday, October 12):

Class 9 (Monday, October 19):

Leadership tools and skills. Watch either of the following:

Who made it? Labor and employment in history. Read either of the following:

Class 10 (Monday, October 26):

Class 11 (Monday, November 2):

What law and lawyers do. Read the following:

Teaching leadership. Read the following:

What’s at stake. Read the following:

Class 12 (Monday, November 9):

Optional: Building a Better Bar: Capturing Minimum Competence, a new (Oct. 29, 2020) report from IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System [114 pp.]


Friday, November 13: The first draft of the research paper is due.

Class 13 (Monday, November 16) (last class):

[No new readings or viewings]


Wednesday, December 9: The final draft of the research paper is due.