Law and Technology Camp
LATCamp is a free, open, user-generated unconference where legal scholars, educators, librarians, clinical or legal practitioners, and technologists meet to discuss ways technology can serve the needs of legal education, scholarship, and practice.1
What is Law and Technology?
It is the act of transforming the world of legal information through technology. As digital citizens, we aim to explore how we as students, scholars, information professionals, and technologists work together to shape law and technology. How can we use technology to digest, disseminate, and remix legal information? How can technology help to illuminate legal concepts? What tools do you use and love now? What tools can you imagine?
What is a LATCamp?
Like the THATCamps that inspired LAT, here, to quote, are the key characteristics of a LATCamp:
- There are no spectators at a LATCamp; everyone participates.
- It is small and intimate, having anywhere from 25 to 50 to no more than 100 participants. Most LATCamps aim for about 75 participants.
- It is not-for-profit and free (or very inexpensive) to attend; it’s funded by small sponsorships and by passing the hat around to the participants for voluntary donations.
- It’s informal: there are no lengthy proposals, papers, or presentations. The emphasis is on discussion and productive, collegial work.
- It is also non-hierarchical and non-disciplinary: LATCamps welcome law students, scholars, librarians, clinical and legal practitioners, developers and programmers, administrators, managers, and funders; people from the non-profit sector, the for-profit sector, and interested amateurs.
Participants make sure to share their notes, slides, and other materials from LATCamp discussions before and after the event on the web and via social media.
What is an “unconference”?
Again quoting our friends at THATCamp, “the shortest answer is this: an unconference is a highly informal conference. Two differences are particularly notable. First, at an unconference, the program isn’t set beforehand: it’s created on the first day with the help of all the participants rather than beforehand by a program committee. Second, at an unconference, there are no presentations — all participants in an unconference are expected to talk and work with fellow participants in every session. An unconference is to a conference what a seminar is to a lecture; going to an unconference is like being a member of an improv troupe where going to a conference is (mostly) like being a member of an audience. Unconferences are also free or cheap and open to all.” For more information, see Wikipedia’s entry on the unconference.
Who should come?
Anyone with energy, enthusiasm, and an interest in the use of technology in legal education, legal scholarship, and legal practice. The more diverse, engaged, and collaborative the group, the better.
What should I propose?
That’s up to you. Sessions at LATCamp will range from from software demos to training sessions to discussions of research findings to half-baked rants (but please no full-blown papers; we’re not here to read or be read to). You should come to LATCamp with something in mind, and on the first day find a time, a place, and people to share it with. Once you’re at LATCamp, you may also find people with similar topics and interests to team up with for a joint session.
How much does it cost?
The inaugural LATCamp on May 16, 2011 is free. A light breakfast will be provided by the HLS Library. Your expenses may include the cost of transportation to get here and lunch, should you choose to join one of our dutch-treat dine arounds.
1. Established by the Harvard Law School Library in 2011, and modeled on the highly successful THATCamps established by CHNM in 2008, the Law and Technology Camp is a user-generated unconference to engage scholars, educators, librarians, legal practitioners and technologists to imagine uses of digital media and technology to serve the needs of legal education and practice.
Following the inaugural LATCamp in Cambridge in May, 2011, we hope that informal LAT networks of educators and practitioners will emerge in New England and beyond, with future regional LATCamps to be offered at least once per year.