Courses on Computers and Law in
American Law Schools
Sanda Erdelezand Paul M. Hillman
In the 1980s nothing has changed society more than the constant integration of new technology. The effects have rippled through all aspects of society, from education to production control. Technology has even found its way into our private lives and homes. It is no wonder that legal professionals are asking whether it would be helpful if there were legislators, judges, regulators, and practitioners who understand technology and its implications.1 Furthermore, it is relevant to inquire into the necessity of teaching the law as it relates to computer technology, the ultimate question being how to teach future lawyers to deal with the infiltration of technology into substantive and nonsubstantive areas of the law.
In order to assess the various methods applied in teaching about the impact of computer technology on the law, it is essential to define the aspects of the law that are affected. Unfortunately, it is difficult to give very narrow and precise definitions to terms that are still in the developmental stage. For this reason we have chosen to deal with general terms, leaving room for refinement as the area of computers and law develops. Primarily, we have used the term "computer law" to define substantive law as it relates to computer technology. This term includes all areas of traditional law that are affected by the new technology, that is, computer crime, computer-related torts, commercial contracts and computers, and so on. The areas such as office automation and computer aids in legal research have been defined as nonsubstantive or "computer applications issues." Al-____________________