David I. C. Thomson, LP Professor    Home   Contact me   Map  
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Recent Updates

My book, Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age was published in January. More information about the book can be found here.

I gave a presentation in Indianapolis in July at the 2008 biennial conference of the Legal Writing Institute about teaching legal writing online. My presentation, with the slides in several formats and supporting resources, can be found here.
I gave a presentation in New York about laptops in the classroom at the 2008 American Association of Law Schools meeting; it was part of a debate about whether they should be banned.  An overview of my contribution to this program, together with the slides, can be found here.
I have created a new page that contains links to all my student evaluations since I started teaching full time at DU.  You will find it here.

Publications (A more up-to-date list of my publications and presentations can be found in my CV here).

Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender, 2009).

Arrow Update: Using CaseMap in Legal Research and Writing Classes and Clinics, Newsletter of the AALS Teaching Methods Section, December 2009 (p. 5).

Using Wikis to Enhance Student Engagement in Administrative Law, 15 The Law Teacher 5 (2008).

Book Review - Lifting the Fog of Legalese: Essays on Plain Language, 36 Colorado Lawyer 87 (2007).

Teaching as Art Form - A Review of The Elements of Teaching, 15 Perspectives 41 (2006).

Sometimes you Have to be the Guide on the Side, 20 Second Draft 23 (2005).

bullet Problems of Proof in False Comparative Product Advertising: How Gullible is the Consumer? 72 Trademark Rep. 385 (1982).

bullet Editor, Preparatory Materials, A Forum on Legal Education and Preparedness for Practice, Jointly sponsored by the Colorado Bar Ass’n, the University of Colorado School of Law, and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, September 24, 1994.


Arrow Technology in Law Teaching, Presentation to the faculty of Appalachian Law School, Grundy, VA, November 5, 2009.

Arrow Using Twitter to Support your Scholarship, Lunch Keynote at the annual meeting of the eLearning Consortium of Colorado, October 30, 2009.

Arrow The potential affects of eReading devices on Law School Textbooks - Opportunities and Challenges, Board meeting of the LexisNexis Publications Advisory Board, San Antonio, TX, July 20, 2009.

Arrow Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age, Presentation at the biennial meeting of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, Kansas City, MO, July 18, 2009.

Arrow Using CaseMap in the Teaching of Legal Writing, Presentation to the LRW faculty of Loyola Law School (LA), June 12, 2009.

Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online, Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, July 16, 2008

Laptops in the Classroom: Don't Ban Them. Use Them., American Association of Law Schools, New York City, January 3, 2008.

In Defense of Judicial Humor, Inns of Court Law School, City University of London, July 19, 2007.

Using CaseMap as a Tool for the Research Log Function, LRW Summit, Colorado Springs, CO, June 13, 2007.

Using Clickers to Enhance Student Engagement, Institute for Law School Teaching, Boston, MA, June 8, 2007.

Ethics, Privacy and the New Electronic Discovery Rules, Privacy Foundation CLE, April 20, 2007.

Preparing for the New Students: New Technologies in the Service of Teaching Legal Writing, Biennial Conference, Legal Writing Institute, June 10, 2006 (with Tracy McGaugh and Cliff Zimmerman).

CaseMap Software in the Teaching of Legal Writing, CALI Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 10, 2005.

Using CaseMap to Help Students make the Leap from Legal Analysis to Legal Writing, Presented to the Teaching with Technology Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, August 10, 2004.

BookLocker and Electronic E-Books for Law Students, Presented with Jennifer Moore-Evans and Jessica Hogan, at the Annual CALI (Computer-Aided Legal Instruction) Conference, Seattle, Washington, June 17, 2004.

Research Interests

The Effect (if any) of Technology on the Velocity of Change in the Law
The research that attempts to quantify productivity increases brought about by technology are inconclusive. Yet lawyers, courts and corporations have widely adopted numerous technologies to increase productivity and efficiency. Has this massive investment had any affect on the velocity of change in the law? By comparing the "speed" of legislative action and court rulings in a period prior to the broad adoption of technology, and the speed of similar legislative actions and court rulings in particular areas of law, I want to make a case that either technology has or has not had any effect on the velocity of change in the law.

The Effect of Surveillance Cameras and Reality TV on the Law of Privacy
In major cities today, there has been an extraordinary proliferation of surveillance cameras. We are being watched many times when we have no idea that we are being watched. Have we acquiesced to this surveillance? Has our "zone of privacy" been reduced by them?

Reality TV shows have also proliferated in the last two years. Some commentators have suggested that for Generation X, living under surveillance is no longer creepy, but cool.  Could these two social developments have any impact on the "expectation of privacy" in search and seizure law? What about other areas of law that are based upon our Privacy interests?

Discovery of Electronic Records
In the last 15 years, much has been written and said about discovery of electronic records. But most attorneys still do not know how to properly request electronic records in their discovery documents, and many use broad, boilerplate language without knowing what it really means. Worse, when the opposing party actually is forthcoming with electronic records, many attorneys do not know how best to handle the material they receive. What guidance can be given to attorneys and the courts about how best to address this impenetrable problem? Can the rules be rewritten to require standardization of formatting of electronic record productions? If so, what issues should those rules address?

Effective Pedagogical Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online
Once thought of as impossible, or ineffective, online learning is becoming increasingly common. Corporations have widely adopted it, and the academy is starting to accept it. There are numerous college-level courses that are taught fully online, and even a few law school classes that are also taught online.

But teaching legal writing is different, isnít it? Most legal writing teachers believe that some of the most effective teaching they do is done one-on-one in conference, with a student draft in front of both the teacher and the student. Can legal writing be taught effectively online, and what teaching methods are most effective in accomplishing the accepted goals of a course of study in legal writing?

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© David I. C. Thomson, 2003-2008. All rights reserved.