Episode 4: The ABA Wants to Drop the U in UPL?

Patrick Taylor, developer at Fastcase, joins me to talk MOOCs and cyberattack geekery today. Also, we’re on iTunes now so please subscribe and give us a review!

1. There’s always a lot of forward-looking conversation in academia about the future of pedagogy, and the same is true in legal academia. As someone who seriously considered making my life revolve around legal academia, I have to admit I was a bit concerned that MOOCs (massive open online courses) would eventually leave me without a job. I still think MOOCs are going to play a major role in education in the near future but this piece about Sebastian Thrun (Stanford Prof. & founder of Udacity) is an interesting look at the failings of MOOCs. I have some thoughts about this I’ll reserve for the literature review.

2. This story was submitted to our subreddit by @ouij: You may have heard about or experienced PACER’s several hour outage on Friday. We’re hearing conflicting reports on what caused the uscourts.gov site to be down from 3-7p ET on Friday. Initial reports were that it was the result of a cyberterrorist attack. That was followed by a spokesperson for the US Courts announcing that the outage was caused by a denial of service attack. The FBI followed that up and told the Wall Street Journal that the problem appeared to be caused by technical issues rather than a cyberattack. On Saturday, however, the FBI said it was reconsidering its position.

3. Justice Scalia just authored an opinion in Burrage v. United States overturning part of a conviction of a drug dealer who sold heroin a man who died the following day during a drug binge. According to the unanimous opinion, an enhanced sentence would only be appropriate given the state statute if the drug was the actual cause of death (as opposed to simply being related). The case was remanded for the lower court to determine a new sentence without the enhancement.

4. The Kansas legislature thinks that judges shouldn’t be able to make their own opinion schedules. A proposed bill under consideration would require district judges to issue rulings on motions and non-jury trials within 120 days. Under the bill appellate courts would be have 180 days. I can’t imagine the courts I used to argue before would be thrilled about this proposal.

5. The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education thinks the ABA should relax or eliminate accreditation standards for law schools. It goes on to opine that states should relax the educational requirements for bar admission and consider allowing non-JDs to perform limited legal services. Yikes?

Please also take note of our subreddit at reddit.com/r/thelawreview. Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at fastcase /dot com.

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