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I bet the overlap between CALI Conference attendees and those who played with Leg…

Wait. Oh, hi Deb, CALI General Counsel and colleague with whom I share an office wall.

What? Oh, I mean. Uh, ok…send me the phrase and I’ll copy and paste it.

I bet the overlap between CALI Conference attendees and those who played with generic interlocking building block toys as kids is pretty remarkable. The Venn diagram is probably just a little circle inside a big circle if you limit the field to those of us who grew up in the 80s.

Remember why they were so much fun to play with? The way the pieces fit together, the thrill of building something from scratch? Sure it took some effort and preparation, but the payoff was getting to play with something you made. And if you didn’t like it, you were free to tear it apart and rearrange it.

The customizations were endless; the flexibility was a feature.

Well, CALI’s vision has always been about providing our membership with flexible tools and platforms: building blocks for a better legal education.

  • eLangdell eBooks lack the restrictive licensing of traditional law school books; faculty and students are free to break them down, edit them, and re-build them to their way of teaching and learning.
  • Classcaster is an open blogging platform which provides unlimited opportunities to build customizable class websites, school or library blogs, and podcasts.
  • CALI Author software’s AutoPublish feature lets law faculty edit our CALI Lessons or self-publish original lessons just for their students.
  • A2J Author lets legal aid lawyers build customized, computer-guided interviews for pro se clients.

And the CALI Conference brings together the most tech-savvy folks in our profession for a discussion about ways we can improve, and provide value for, our schools. You’ll hear about all kinds of innovative teaching techniques, projects, and ideas. A lot of these employ a built-from-the-ground-up, customized approach in lieu of expensive, locked-down, pre-packaged alternatives. They will range from easy to advanced, but most of them share a common thread: it may take a bit of work or time or preparation or rearranging or imagination on your part to implement them.

Implementing ideas you learn about at the CALI Conference may require a D.I.Y. streak that was sparked in many of us the first time we picked up generic interlocking building block toys.

That’s why we chose Some Assembly Required.

Or maybe we noticed this amusement park in the conference host city, thought it looked like a lot of fun, and worked backwards from there.

Regardless, this is gonna be fun. Stay tuned for more conference announcements to come.

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