[teknoids] CALI Spotlight: How Law Schools Could Save Students $150 Million

Elmer Masters emasters at cali.org
Thu Jul 19 09:27:32 EDT 2012


Folks,
I don't often forward stuff in its entirety to the list (especially in full
HTML glory), but this is getting a lot of attention among faculty and
librarians and the subject of ebooks is getting to be a hot topic that
Teknoids should be thinking about.
The original article is at http://cca.li/ke and there is a lively
discussion on the Volokh Conspiracy blog at http://cca.li/kl.
Just as reminder, we have over a dozen titles available at the eLangdell
bookstore (http://elangdell.cali.org) and everyone is free
to share materials in the eLangdell Commons at
http://elangdell.cali.org/commons.

Thanks,
Elmer.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CALI <feedback at cali.org>
Date: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM
Subject: How Law Schools Could Save Students $150 Million
To: Elmer Masters <emasters at cali.org>


**
     The $150 Million Casebook Challenge
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       How Law Schools Could Save Law Students $150 Million
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There are over 140,000* law students in the 201 ABA accredited law schools
in the US. According to the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), higher
education students spend an average of $1100 per year on
books<http://cali.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=d854b8b8f1&e=GHvGhOOah6>.
Do the math and this comes out to 140,000 x $1100 = $154,000,000.

What if most of the books that students need for law school were free?
Well, obviously, this would save students the cost of purchasing
$154,000,000 worth of books each and every year.

How can this be done?

What if every law school in the country - all 201 of the ABA accredited law
schools<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=abd81018fe&e=GHvGhOOah6>-
nominated just one faculty at that law school to write a casebook and
donated that book, in electronic format, to the commons under a Creative
Commons<http://cali.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=8c2027ca4f&e=GHvGhOOah6>license.
The cost to law schools would not be zero, but collectively, the
value to law students would be enormous.

The basic plan would be thus...

Every law school puts forth a Fellow who will participate in a team of
faculty to write a casebook in a substantive area of law over 12 months.

The law school gives the Fellow leave from teaching a course or an
institutional stipend for writing the book. The details are to be worked
out between the school and the Fellow.

These 201 Fellows form the first cadre of a three year, 100 casebook effort.

Faculty will form Fellowship Teams to work on a book together to share the
workload and provide collaborative feedback and quality control to each
other. The assumption here is 3 authors per book, so 201 law schools = 67
books and 50% completion/attrition, so 33-34 new books per year x 3 years =
100 books.

A web-based service to enable Fellows to setup their teams or find others
who want to write in the same subject area … a kind of Match.com for
casebook authors. CALI could help with this.

There were a series of sessions at the CALI
Conference<http://cali.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=3deae48001&e=GHvGhOOah6>in
San Diego in June on the technologies behind ebook publishing. The
tools
have advanced to the point where if you are careful how you start, you can
publish into multiple ebook formats (pdf, html, epub, mobi, doc) for
multiple devices (kindle, ipad, smartphone, pc) without having to teach
everyone to be a programmer.

<http://cali.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=cf428d8edf&e=GHvGhOOah6>

Since we need to transition from paper books or “pbooks”, we can use a
service like Lulu.com<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=7c4c2c85a2&e=GHvGhOOah6>to
create hardcover or softcover prints at low cost. CALI's
eLangdell Press<http://cali.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=6d8732a823&e=GHvGhOOah6>offers
softcover prints of 500
page books for under
$15<http://cali.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=e47f12ee7e&e=GHvGhOOah6>(not
including shipping) from
Lulu.com<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=f757ac8163&e=GHvGhOOah6>,
so we have some experience with this.

Authors can retain copyright in their own works, but must license the book
under a Creative Commons license to allow redistribution, remixing and
re-use by anyone else. This is why one of the formats for distribution must
be Microsoft Word's .doc format. This is critical to creating an ecology of
course materials that permits improvement and customization for local needs.

The benefits of such a project are considerable:

This sends a message to law students that law schools are doing something
innovative, serious and substantive to increase the value and quality of
legal education and reduce the cost.

This idea leverages the benefits of electronic books and ubiquitous
internet connectivity and exposes law faculty to 21st century technologies
that are becoming de rigueur to their students.

The result provides a remixable foundation of electronic course materials
that is a starting point for innovation in courses and curriculum design.

This is the $150 million Casebook Challenge. What do you think?

John Mayer
Executive Director
jmayer at cali.org
312-906-5307
@johnpmayer<http://cali.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=fd12dd29d4&e=GHvGhOOah6>(Twitter)

Links:

CALI's eLangdell Press -
http://elangdell.cali.org<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=65e8c4c22a&e=GHvGhOOah6>

CALI's Lulu Store for pbook versions of it's eLangdell Press books.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/caliorg<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=8ed36d982b&e=GHvGhOOah6>

* 146,288 JD students in ABA-approved law schools in 2011-2012 -
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/statistics/enrollment_degrees_awarded.authcheckdam.pdf<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=5b8f761994&e=GHvGhOOah6>

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-- 
Elmer R. Masters
Director of Internet Development
Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction
emasters at cali.org    773-332-7508
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