Two years ago, Georgetown Law's Paul Ohm launched a new class focused on teaching law students how to code. The class, which is designed for students with no prior background in computer programming, introduces students to programming and computer science concepts to equip them with the skills 21st century lawyers need.
Upon completing the class, law students are able to write simple to moderately complex computer programs that can automate text-handling and data-handling tasks. Just as important, law students gain confidence in programming and computer science concepts--an essential skill for lawyers to speak fluently with today's clients, and for policymakers to better understand the technology field.
Originally designed for ~25 students, Paul's class currently enrolls 75 law students each year and has a waitlist that is 50 students long. As Paul has noted, if he sustains this rate, as many as 15% of Georgetown Law JD grads will be competent computer programmers by the time they graduate.
Georgetown's Computer Programming for Lawyers class has been written about in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the American Bar Association Journal and other outlets. Today, Paul launched a blog that provides further context on the course. The site is intended for Georgetown insiders and outsiders to see the course materials, our approach to teaching it, and advice for schools considering their own programming-for-lawyers class.