Some law schools are guilty of sticking to traditional means of teaching: bulky textbooks, lecture and listen classes, pens and paper.
However, other law schools realize the old ways aren’t doing their students any justice, and opt for renovations that bring their campuses back to life– mock court rooms.
But why invest in mock court rooms?
To start, most mock courtrooms provide a similar size and space found in actual courtrooms. They can be used for lectures, mock trials, local trials, and even for alumni events.
Plus, mock court rooms give today’s “lawyers-in-training” a taste of real-life law. This will better prepare law students after graduation, especially since some actual courts expect fresh graduates to navigate cases seamlessly.
What goes into a mock court room? How do you plan for a mock court room? Do you build one from the ground up, or reuse an empty space?
Martin Pritikin, Vice Dean of Whittier Law School, says it can be challenging to plan for a mock court room.
Institutions can run into problems like “the chicken and the egg,” he says. “You think you might need something, and you go back and forth between the technology, purpose and location.”
He says an institution needs to gather evidence to prove why it needs a mock court room and mock court room technology.
“Think about what you want to accomplish,” he says. “Technology can be expensive, there can be logistical issues. You need to strategize: Who will use it? What is its purpose?”
While planning, Pritikin suggests addressing technology needs with an open mind, and expect to make changes along the way.
“Be flexible about the process,” he says. “If you lock yourself into [something], it can be hard.”
Vikram Savkar, the vice president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer Education, says that the ROI of investing in up to date mock court room technology will keep law students happy, and train them for the real world.
“People want to learn more like the way they’re going to end up practicing,” he says. “Large law firms are almost entirely digital at this point…This is what students are thrown into as soon as they leave school, but nothing in traditional law school prepares them for this.”