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

Edmunds, Doug edmunds at unc.edu
Thu Jul 19 09:41:53 EDT 2012

Hi Elmer,

Unrelated to this post, where are all the videos from this year's conference? The sole video that appears under the 2012 conference link on CALI's YouTube archive is John's wonderfully bizarre LegoMan keynote.


Doug Edmunds
Assistant Dean for IT
UNC School of Law
919.843.9208 office
From: teknoids-bounces at ruckus.law.cornell.edu [teknoids-bounces at ruckus.law.cornell.edu] on behalf of Elmer Masters [emasters at cali.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:27 AM
To: Teknoids
Subject: [teknoids] CALI Spotlight: How Law Schools Could Save Students $150 Million

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.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CALI <feedback at cali.org<mailto: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<mailto:emasters at cali.org>>

The $150 Million Casebook Challenge

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How Law Schools Could Save Law Students $150 Million
[money by cali.org, on Flickr]<http://cali.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=74902c4d59ae9e4e263c29082&id=3c3c2b5c89&e=GHvGhOOah6>

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.


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


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<mailto:emasters at cali.org>    773-332-7508
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