Supreme Court: Public money can be used for religious education — from educationdive.com by Linda Jacobson

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday in favor of a Montana mother who wanted to use the state’s tax credit-funded scholarship to send her children to a Christian school, giving school choice advocates, …, a major victory.

From DSC:
I’ve always wondered why the funding couldn’t follow the K12 student — no matter where they go. We’ve been getting hit twice if and when we send one of our kids to a Christian-based school. We always pay our taxes, but then we have to turn around and also pay for Christian-based education. Perhaps this will give our youngest daughter a chance to attend a Christian-based high school in 2021. Otherwise, I’m not sure how we are going to afford it. 

 

4 in 10 U.S. teens say they haven’t done online learning since schools closed — from kqed.org by Anya Kamenetz

Excerpt:

With most schools closed nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic, a national poll of young people ages 13 to 17 suggests distance learning has been far from a universal substitute.

 

From DSC:
If you are able to — whether as a business or as an individual — please consider finding ways to help level the playing field in our nation by providing computers and broadband connectivity. Our society doesn’t need yet another gap, especially when you have this type of thing going on.

Online-based learning — along with blended learning — is likely a solid component of our learning ecosystems from here on out — but it’s not a level playing field out there right now.

 

 

From DSC:
I can’t help but reflect on how slippery the slope is when we start talking about using drones — especially as sponsored and used by governments, including our government here in the U.S. Consider the following from The Future Institute.

The Future Institute Today -- discussing the slippery slope of using drones

Excerpt:

Eyes in the sky
As nationwide racial justice protests continue, some journalists and protestors have noticed a new addition to the armed police officers and National Guard troops: a drone flying a hexagon-shaped route 20,000 feet above the streets in Minneapolis. The drone, flown by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is called a Predator, and is a piece of military technology used for identifying and targeting terrorists overseas. Lately, it’s become a more common sight domestically.

Last month, a number of New Yorkers witnessed a drone floating above them, barking orders to follow social distancing guidelines. The mysterious drone wasn’t official police equipment, but rather a privately owned device piloted by a man named Xavier Arthur in Queens, who was frustrated that people weren’t following stay-at-home orders. He claimed to represent the “Anti-Covid-19 Volunteer Drone Task Force. 

It’s not an isolated incident. During the outbreak, drones have been used extensively to monitor residents and encourage them to stay indoors, to inspect traffic stops and hospitals, and to spray cities with disinfectants. In Paris and Mumbai, they’re patrolling social distancing violators. In China, a video clip went viral, showing a drone breaking up a mahjong game—residents had defied local orders that they stay indoors. Drones with infrared cameras also allegedly flew overhead and checked for people with fevers.

Advanced drones can pinpoint certain behaviors in crowds from high altitudes, recognize and automatically follow targets, and communicate with each other or to command centers on the ground with remarkable precision and low latency. The pandemic and protests are playing to the strengths of an emerging real-time aerial surveillance ecosystem.

3 Things You Should Know

  1. The Flying Internet of Things is taking off.
  2. New drones can self-destruct.
  3. Shareable drones may drive growth in the industry.
 

ABA President Judy Perry Martinez on the ABA and the Profession in a Pandemic [Ambrogi]

ABA President Judy Perry Martinez on the ABA and the Profession in a Pandemic — from lawsitesblog.com by Robert Ambrogi

Excerpt:

We talked about how she and the ABA have responded to the pandemic, including with her appointment of the Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic and, just last week, the Coordinating Group on Practice Forward. We also discussed her thoughts on the pandemic’s impacts on the profession, the justice system, and access to justice.

 
 

Law 2030 podcast with Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Furlong, and Cat Moon -- April 2020

 


 

Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Long, and Cat Moon
Part I — 4/10/20

Law 2030 Podcast: The future of legal services -- Part 1 of 2 -- Leonard, Furlong, & Long

This episode is the first of two episodes that discuss the future of the profession in the wake of the COVID19 crisis. Guests Jordan Furlong and Cat Moon discuss:

  • How COVID 19 exposes the access to justice crisis the profession has created
  • Why the crisis offers the opportunity to leverage technology in new ways
  • Why the structures and systems that have defined the profession have been so durable
  • Whether lawyers view the crisis as a blip or a transformation
  • How leaders can pivot toward innovation

From DSC:
At several points in the conversation, when Cat and Jordan were both referring to the importance of experimentation within the legal realm, I was reminded of this graphic that I did back in 2013:

I was reminded of it as well because Jennifer Leonard rightly (in my perspective), brought in higher education into the discussion at several points. There are some similarities — especially concerning power and privilege. Well, it’s now true in the legal realm as well (and probably has been true for a while…I’m just behind).

Experimentation. Experimentation. Experimentation. <– so key in the legal realm right now!

 

Other notes I took:

  • Triage: Need to deal with essentials to keep afloat. Yourself, staff, clients, cash flow. Put out the fire.
  • Reconstruction: In parallel, create “field hospitals.” Recession is going to have massive impacts on old systems. Need new systems. Start building institutions that work. Build as many of these as you can. Experiments.  House isn’t going to be inhabitable after the fire. Need a new shelter — maybe start w/ a tent, then a cabin, then a house. Build on something small.  Start building what’s going to replace the old systems.
  • Power and privilege imbalance is why people haven’t been able to change things.  “I can make you do something for me. You come here so I can dispense justice to you.” But not just judges…throughout the system.
  • Public legal awareness and legal education. In high schools, universities, colleges, churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.
  • Higher ed and legal services? Anything we can learn from each other?
  • Systems created by people who rule the systems. Power imbalance exists in higher ed, but hubris is completely indefensible within the legal realm. Need much better access to legal information and legal understanding.
  • OS on the Mac. Don’t have another OS for legal system to move to. We need to redesign our legal OS to serve more people.
  • Law is society’s OS.  Law is DOS-based…need Windows or Mac type of leap.
  • Self protectionism. Hubris. Power imbalance. Power hungry.
  • Yet many who enter legal profession come in wanting to make the world a better place. Why the move away from these ideals? Need more focus on developing professional identity. Structure, framework for how to be a lawyer. Students become more cynical as time goes by. Also, there’s “ladder pulling.” Pay your dues. Get hazed. I had to do it…now you have to do it. Bar Exam good example of this. Confirmation bias. It’s the way we’ve always done it.

Today, the following things ARE happening — so it CAN be done!  The people in charge just didn’ want to do these things.

  • lawyers working from home
  • e-filing of documents to courts
  • video hearings in court
  • faster, cheaper, more convenient

 


Jennifer Leonard, Jordan Long, and Cat Moon
Part II – 4/14/20

Law 2030 Podcast: The future of legal services -- Part 2 of 2 -- Leonard, Furlong, & Long

On this second part of a two-part series, Professor Cat Moon and Jordan Furlong discuss COVID 19’s impact on legal education and law firms. The conversation explores:

  • The “knock out effect” the crisis has on the various parts of the lawyer formation system
  • Who might take ownership of coordinating the new landscape of lawyer accreditation
  • The opportunities lifelong learning creates for law schools to be involved in the ongoing development of legal professionals
  • How human-centered design and project-based learning offer ways to integrate the three sides of the Delta model of lawyer competency
  • How small and solo law firms might be impacted by the crisis

Notes I took:

  • The knock-out effect.
  • How can we coordinate amongst the players in the system? Will be hard, because of the existing fiefdoms. Power and authority move back up the chain to those who did the delegating in the first place. If the power has been delegated to you, you are at a disadvantage. Jordan sees an assertion of authority from a central entity — legislatures most likely; possibly courts.
  • This moment offers us an opportunity to experiment and to redesign our systems. Can find new ways to fulfill missions.
  • Have no choice but to embrace the ambiguity of the moment.
  • Triage, then try to build something better than what we had before.
  • We have to build something different. “And look, the sky’s not falling!” Think big. Act boldly in these experiments. Expand what we think is possible.
  • The repercussions of the Coronavirus will be with us for much longer than many think it will
  • Legal principles/concepts/rules. Areas of practice. Professional formation (ethics, integrity, operational aspects, & more). Know the law, but also WHY we have the law and lawyers.
  • Can learn “black letter law” asynchronously and via videoconferencing.
  • Need to expand curriculum: Project/time management, customer service, financial and tech literacy
  • Delta Model — a framework for developing lawyer competencies; starts in law schools; what are the skills and competencies; the foundation is the practice of law; research, issue spotting, PM, data analysis, understanding business; understanding people; wholistic approach. A lifelong journey of growth. 
  • Law schools — 3 years, then done. Not a productive way to do things. We need to keep people on top of their game throughout a career. Is legal education a place or a system/process that you enter and re-enter again and again throughout one’s career? Wouldn’t it be great if I could access ___ modules along the way?
  • How are we going to create/design highly engaging online-based learning experiences? #1 on Cat’s priority list now. Got moved up the priority list.
  • There are pros and cons for both F2F and online-based learning. Humanizing impact when your professors are teaching from their homes.
  • Reframing legal education just as we are reframing courts as a service, not a place.
  • Blended approach can be very effective/powerful.
  • Need to collect data on what’s working and what’s not working.
  • Fundamental business model of corporate side is likely at the end of its course; law firms will need a new model for generating profit. For smaller firms, prospects are more dire as their clients are going through major negative changes. Potential unsustainability of many practices.
  • How can we provide different models that expand access to justice? That help develop happier and healthier lawyers?
  • Per legalproblemsolving.org, human-centered design is:
    • …a fluid framework for discovering problems, ideating solutions, and iterating to continuously improve solutions. HCD provides a methodology for considering both legal service delivery challenges, as well as clients’ legal problems. The HCD method also serves as a tool individual law students can use to craft a rewarding, successful legal career.

 

 

LawNext Episode 71: Legal Futurist Richard Susskind on Coronavirus, Courts and the Legal Profession — from .lawsitesblog.com by Robert Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Ever since the publication of his seminal 1996 book, The Future of LawRichard Susskind has remained the world’s most-recognized and most-respected speaker and author on the future of legal services. But even he could not have foreseen the sudden relevance of his latest book, Online Courts and the Future of Justice.

On this episode of LawNext, Susskind joins host Bob Ambrogi for a conversation about the legal profession and the judicial system in a time of global pandemic. Will the pandemic fast-forward law’s leap into the future? Will there be fundamental change in legal services delivery? Will courts move online more quickly than even he had thought? Susskind shares his thoughts on these questions and more.

Also see:

remotecourts dot org worldwide

 

Pandemic II: Justice system down — from law21.ca by Jordan Furlong

Excerpt:

We need to recognize a couple of things about our justice system, in order to fully appreciate the fate that awaits it in the COVID-19 era and the tasks that now lie in front of us.

The first is that the system has nowhere near the capacity or resilience required to handle an emergency of this magnitude. Like our hospitals, which are about to be overrun with virus patients, our courts are perpetually underfundedtechnologically handicapped, and already overloaded.

Case backlogs are common, hearings are routinely adjourned, and even straightforward cases stretch out over months and years. There is an entire body of constitutional law that addresses how long you can delay a person’s trial before their rights are violated, and it should tell us something that we don’t even find that remarkable anymore.

What this crisis has revealed is the central operating assumption of our justice institutions, which has now become our stumbling block: Everybody comes to the courthouse.

Richard Susskind has made many insightful observations over the course of his career, but I suspect one will outlast all the others: “We have to decide if court is a place or a service.” For hundreds of years — right up until last month, in fact — court has been a place. By the time this pandemic has truly run its course, court will be a service.

 

My thanks to a friend for causing me to further reflect on this article: “Can computers ever replace the classroom?” [Beard]


From DSC:
I’d like to thank Mr. Eric Osterberg — a fraternity brother and friend of mine — for sending me the following article. I wrote back to him. After thanking Eric for the article, I said:

Such an article makes me reflect on things — which is always a good thing for me to try to see my blindspots and/or to think about the good and bad of things. Technologies are becoming more powerful and integrated into our lives — for better at times and for worse at other times.

I’m wondering how the legal realm can assist and/or help create a positive future for societies throughout the globe…any thoughts?


Can computers ever replace the classroom? — from theguardian.com by Alex Beard
With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. 

Excerpts:

But it’s in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for the nation to lead the world in AI innovation by 2030, that the fastest progress is being made. In 2018 alone, Li told me, 60 new AI companies entered China’s private education market. Squirrel AI is part of this new generation of education start-ups. The company has already enrolled 2 million student users, opened 2,600 learning centres in 700 cities across China, and raised $150m from investors.

The supposed AI education revolution is not here yet, and it is likely that the majority of projects will collapse under the weight of their own hype.

The point, in short, is that AI doesn’t have to match the general intelligence of humans to be useful – or indeed powerful. This is both the promise of AI, and the danger it poses.

It was a reminder that Squirrel AI’s platform, like those of its competitors worldwide, doesn’t have to be better than the best human teachers – to improve people’s lives, it just needs to be good enough, at the right price, to supplement what we’ve got. The problem is that it is hard to see technology companies stopping there. For better and worse, their ambitions are bigger. “We could make a lot of geniuses,” Li told me.

 

US falls out of top 20 in Rule of Law Index, while global declines continue — from abajournal.com by Debra Cassens Weiss

Excerpt:

For the first time, the United States fell out of the top 20 countries for adherence to the rule of law in an index compiled by the World Justice Project.

The United States dropped to No. 21 in the index, while Spain moved in to the top 20, according to press releases here and here and a summary here. The index is based on national surveys of more than 130,000 households and 4,000 legal practitioners and experts around the world.

 

AI laws are coming — from forbes.com by Kathleen Walch

Excerpt:

The pace of adoption for AI and cognitive technologies continues unabated with widespread, worldwide, rapid adoption. Adoption of AI by enterprises and organizations continues to grow, as evidenced by a recent survey showing growth across each of the seven patterns of AI. However, with this growth of adoption comes strain as existing regulation and laws struggle to deal with emerging challenges. As a result, governments around the world are moving quickly to ensure that existing laws, regulations, and legal constructs remain relevant in the face of technology change and can deal with new, emerging challenges posed by AI.

Research firm Cognilytica recently published a report on Worldwide AI Laws and Regulations that explores the latest legal and regulatory actions taken by countries around the world across nine different AI-relevant areas.

 

 

Facial recognition startup Clearview AI says its full client list was stolen — from engadget.com by Igor Bonifacic

Excerpt:

You might expect a high-profile (and controversial) facial recognition startup like Clearview AI would have its data locked down, but it turns out it’s just as vulnerable as almost any other company to malicious individuals. In a notification obtained by The Daily Beast, the company says a recent vulnerability allowed someone to gain “unauthorized access” to a list of all of its customers. Clearview works with approximately 600 law enforcement agencies across North America, including the Chicago Police Department.

Also see:

 

 

American Bar Assn. President criticizes U.S. legal system as backward, resistant to change — from forbes.com by Patricia Barnes

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Judy Perry Martinez, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), has issued an unusually frank plea calling upon the legal profession to support reform of America’s backward legal system to better serve the public.

“We need new ideas,” said Martinez. “We are one-fifth into the 21st century, yet we continue to rely on 20th-century processes, procedures and regulations. We need to retain 20th-century values but advance them using 21st-century approaches that can increase access to justice.”

Martinez’ comments are contained in a letter appearing in the February-March 2020 issue of the ABA’s monthly magazine, The ABA Journal.

Martinez expressed frustration with resistance in the legal profession to state-level efforts to innovate in the provision of legal services.

Martinez was particularly critical of the lack of access to civil justice in the United States. She cited the World Justice Project’s ranking of the U.S. in the bottom tier with respect to access to and affordability of civil justice. She said the U.S. is tied for 99th place out of 126 countries. Additionally, Martinez said research by the Legal Services Corp. found that low-income Americans received inadequate or no professional legal help for 86% of their civil legal problems, including child custody, debt collection, eviction and foreclosure. She did not spare the criminal justice system. In many states, Martinez says, “overwhelming caseloads and inadequate resources for public defenders severely hamper the Sixth Amendment right to counsel for indigent criminal defendants.

 

From DSC:
I congratulate Judy Perry Martinez for her stance here, as she’s ultimately fighting for our society — especially for access to justice. Though I don’t know Judy, I appreciate the courage that it must have taken to pen that letter.

 

From DSC:
My brother-in-law sent me the link to the video below. It’s a very solid interview about racism and what some solutions are to it. It offers some important lessons for us.

A heads up here: There’s some adult language in this piece — from the interviewer not the interviewee (i.e., you know…several of those swear words that I’ve been trying since second grade to get rid of in my vocabulary! Sorry to report that I’ve not enjoyed too much success in that area. Thanks for your patience LORD…the work/process continues).

While I have several pages worth of notes (because that’s just how I best process information and stay focused), I will just comment on a couple things:

* A 10 year old boy has rocks thrown at him by adults and kids and rightfully asks, “Why are they doing this to me when they don’t even *know* me?!”  That burning question lead to a decades-long search for Mr. Daryl Davis as he sought the answer to that excellent question.

* Years later Daryl surmised this phenomenon was/is at play: Unchecked ignorance –> leads to fear –> unchecked fear leads to hatred –> unchecked hatred leads to destruction. One of the best ways to stop this is via education and exposure to the truth — which we can get by being with and talking to/with each other. How true.  
One of the best things my parents ever did was to move us from a predominantly white neighborhood and school setting to a far more diverse setting. Prior to the move, we used to hear (and likely believed was true) that “There are all kinds of guns and knives at this junior high school and at this high school. Violence abounds there.” After moving and getting exposure to the people and learning environments at those schools, we realized that that fear was a lie…a lie born out of ignorance. The truth/reality was different from the lie/ignorance.
* Mr. Daryl Davis is an instrument of peace. He is:
  • Highly articulate
  • A multi-talented gentleman
  • A deep thinker
  • …and an eloquent communicator.

I thanked my brother-in-law for the link to the interview.


Also see:

Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience— from christianbook.com by Sheila Wise Rowe

Product Description
As a child, Sheila Wise Rowe was bused across town to a majority white school, where she experienced the racist lie that one group is superior to all others. This lie continues to be perpetuated today by the action or inaction of the government, media, viral videos, churches, and within families of origin. In contrast, Scripture declares that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.

Rowe, a professional counselor, exposes the symptoms of racial trauma to lead readers to a place of freedom from the past and new life for the future. In each chapter, she includes an interview with a person of color to explore how we experience and resolve racial trauma. With Rowe as a reliable guide who has both been on the journey and shown others the way forward, you will find a safe pathway to resilience.

 

 

How to block Facebook and Google from identifying your face — from cnbc.com by Todd Haselton

Excerpt:

  • A New York Times report over the weekend discussed a company named Clearview AI that can easily recognize people’s faces when someone uploads a picture.
  • It scrapes this data from the internet and sites people commonly use, such as Facebook and YouTube, according to the report.
  • You can stop Facebook and Google from recognizing your face in their systems, which is one step toward regaining your privacy.
  • Still, it probably won’t entirely stop companies like Clearview AI from recognizing you, since they’re not using the systems developed by Google or Facebook.
 

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