Each semester, the University of Maine School of Law offers several bridge courses, one-credit short courses intended to introduce students to topics, skills, and issues not normally covered in the standard curriculum.
In the past few years, Maine Law has offered the following bridge courses:
This course presents a survey of the driving forces revolutionizing the practice of law, examines the impact of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and IBM Watson on legal search strategies, evaluates the growing threat from cyber terrorism, and highlights the changing employment landscape for practicing attorneys.
It is said that there are two kinds of companies today; those know they have been hacked, and those that do not know (yet). Ninety-eight percent of all data are now created electronically, in the form of social media, big data, new communication forms that can create, and destroy, messages in seconds, and monitoring software that collects, synthesizes, reports, and stores an unimaginable volume and type of data about a company, its employees, their activities, intellectual property, business processes, and client data. An increasing number of actors want access to that data, including government agencies, regulatory bodies, international policing institutions, audit committees, marketing organizations, outside counsel, opposing counsel and hackers (state sponsored or otherwise). Companies (small, mid-size and large) are turning to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related technologies to monetize data and capture it for compliance needs, research and development, and driving efficiencies across all business units. Newly minted attorneys must develop real world capabilities to confront the fast pace of technology apparent in nearly every aspect of business operations and growth. Some of the subjects examined will be eDiscovery and cybersecurity practices, lawyers’ ethical obligations vis-a-vis electronic data, changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to take into account electronically stored information, and advising clients in this environment.
This course is an introduction to the clash between environmentalism, energy and economics, as well as about evolving technologies that are being pursued in Maine. We want clean energy but not high prices; we want pristine coasts and view sheds, but also comfortable cars, heat and light, and the latest electricity-consuming products. This course will provide students with a practical understanding of issues that will fundamentally shape their personal and professional futures regardless of major or discipline, in Maine or wherever they may live. It will also introduce them to some of the key Maine business and professional leaders in these fields, as well as develop and strengthen their oral and written advocacy skills.