Can gaming help students learn the law?

Can gaming help students learn the law?
Gaming is a novel concept in law, but a new platform featured at this week’s LawTechCamp event in Toronto will introduce a concept law students might want to take note of: online mooting.

Technological and business innovations, of course, are pushing industries worldwide to become more efficient and effective. While the legal industry has yet to feel the disruptive effects of technology, some observers say change is on the horizon and that law students are bound to see it during their careers. This year, the LawTechCamp conference on June 8 is bringing together leaders in law from the United States and Canada to discuss these changes and other new innovations in the profession.

When it comes to the concept of gaming, one example in the legal field is Mootus, a Boston startup that provides an online moot court platform. It’s a free online platform that allows law students or new lawyers to compete anonymously for free-to-solve legal issues by citing relevant legal authorities and making short supporting arguments. Users get a free profile that reflects their activity and status on the site and which remains private until they’re ready to share it with others, such as potential employers. Users also get a personalized dashboard that gives direct access to all of the issues they’ve answered. Over time, users build a personalized library of issues that can be a unique, dynamic informational asset as their careers progress.

Essentially, Mootus allows students to get the experience of participating in real legal argument about real legal issues even if they’re still in school or searching for a job. And unlike traditional moot court, which demands a huge time commitment and usually produces only one winning team, Mootus’ approach gives people flexibility to spend as much or as little time as they like.

While gaming in law is a novel concept, Mitch Kowalski, author Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century, will present a session at LawTechCamp on gamifying the law firm. During the session, he’ll discuss the novel ways in which game mechanics can incentivize behaviour in law firms. Among the other speakers is Canadian Lawyer editor in chief Gail Cohen, who will be part of a panel on changes in legal publishing.

These are a few of the exciting developments in technology in the legal field that presenters at LawTechCamp will be addressing. For more information, visit lawtechcamp.com.

Monica Goyal is a Toronto lawyer, technology columnist for Law Times, and an organizer of the this week’s LawTechCamp event.

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