Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JULY/AUGUST 2018 36 Apply the Law c h a s e s h o w s h o w t o i n a High-Tech World Robert Furnier, director of the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology at Chase College of Law, teaches a course in which students design law-related apps for smartphones and other devices. Others change: In addition to learning how to brief a case, Salmon P. Chase College of Law students can learn how to design law-related apps and websites that incor- porate legal doctrines and forms for use by lawyers and non-lawyers. Students in the Law, Business & Entrepre- neurship course of the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology at Chase are not doing computer pro- gramming. at is for Northern Kentucky University computer students or outside coders. What they are doing is utilizing their law school experience to identify what an app or website needs to accom- plish, and the information and navigation it must have to be useful. In many ways, the process is a high-tech version of the thinking that goes into briefing a case. "e first thing they have to do is identify the legal issues that go along with the app," says academy director Robert Furnier, who teaches the course. "For example, for a dis- ability access app that was being planned, they had to understand the current state of the law for accessibility, and the same for a domestic violence app that is being developed. at understanding, in the case of the domestic violence app, could involve how to get a birth certificate with minimal or no information, and how to create an identity a landlord and others will accept. All of this involves legal issues." Current and former students have designed, or are designing, three apps, or software that performs specific tasks on a computer or mobile device, and two websites. IN DEVELOPMENT: e domestic vio- lence app, named ID Redo, began as a spring project for Legal Aid of the Blue - grass to help domestic violence victims who flee without identification or documents. A website accessibility project evolved from an app concept for lawyers and others with disabilities to evaluate accessibility of law-related websites. IN FIELD TESTING: An app named Start- over Kentucky that students created for Legal Aid of the Bluegrass helps lawyers and others expedite expungement proceed- ings. (Another app for Legal Aid of the Bluegrass was part of a grant proposal for recruiting volunteer lawyers.) WHERE L AW AND TECHNOLOGY MEET: A first step for students is to iden- tify the legal issues or processes an app will address. For ID Redo, the domestic violence app, the initial hurdle is how to re-establish identities for domestic violence victims who had to leave all of their papers behind. "We are looking at the legal requirements for obtaining those documents, as well as the potential for some alternatively acceptable identification during a period of waiting for replacement identifying documents," says 3L Doug Rebok, who is involved with the app. "We also have to consider the risks of [digitally] accepting and storing sensitive personally identifying information." For Startover Kentucky, the expungement app, students created a checklist of issues to consider, says Charlotte Spencer, a 2017 graduate who worked on the app. Among them: "Was it a drug-based crime? ese sometimes have special rules for expunge- ment. Was it a sex crime or crime against a child? We can't help people with those," she says. T H I N K I N G L I K E A (H I G H-T E C H) LAWYER: "e process of brainstorm- ing a technical solution to a real-world problem allows us to analyze the law to identify both where technology helps us to accomplish our goal and how it hinders the solution," Mr. Rebok says. "inking like a lawyer means identifying the many different areas that are affected under one set of circumstances." Some things in law school never change: Everyone learns how to brief a case. COLUMNS

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