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Akron Law professor making her mark on legal technology education

Legal News Reporter

Published: March 3, 2020

Emily Janoski-Haehlen was a law librarian in 2010 when she attended the ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago for the first time.
“I was interested in the use of social media in the courtroom,” she said.
She met people at the conference and started getting interested in the then-fairly new area of legal technology.
“I started talking to people about social media, then went on to security, blockchain, and then on to access to justice issues,” she said.
She pursued a career that included positions as law librarian, law professor and law school administrator, eventually landing at Akron Law in 2017.
Janoski-Haehlen is an associate professor, director of the law library and associate dean for academic affairs and institutional excellence at the law school, and she currently teaches and developed the only legal technology course at the school.
National figure in legal technology education
Beyond her work here with The University of Akron’s legal technology education, Janoski-Haehlen is a national figure in the field, involved in several national legal technology projects and positions, including serving as the current chair of the Association of American Law Schools section on technology, law and legal education.
She has also been an integral part of a national organization designed to coordinate legal technology education called the Legal Technology Laboratory.
The LTL, launched in 2016 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a group and test bed for educators involved in teaching legal technology and in the impact of technology on issues like privacy and access to justice.
Janoski-Haehlen has worked with the group on several projects, she said. She conducted a highly detailed, comprehensive 2019 survey of law schools across the country on their legal technology courses (or lack thereof), which is posted on the site.
That study’s findings were all over the map, she said. The survey found that a little over half of the schools that responded had some kind of legal technology teaching, but the level of courses offered varied widely.
“There are schools that embrace teaching legal technology all the way up to coding,” she said. “And there are some that just don’t teach it at all.”
In conjunction with that study, she helped develop a searchable inventory of nationwide law and technology programs and collaborations, which can also be found on the site.
She has also published and presented numerous times on the topic of legal technology, including teaching legal technology and collaborations between law librarians and legal technology vendors, and she continues to have a place at large legal technology gatherings like LEGALTECH.
But her main focus is back home, where she wants to take the school’s legal technology education up a notch (or more than one notch), to a 12-credit certificate program.
Her current Akron Law legal technology class syllabus is an overview of the field, including legal ethics, mobile lawyering, mobile legal app evaluation, legal research beyond the norm (including the dark web), social media, setting up a virtual law practice, cloud computing, knowledge and case management software, e-discovery, privacy, security and encryption, and more.
Since even that overview of legal technology only covers the surface, Janoski-Haehlen is planning a certification track that would include cooperation with the university’s cybersecurity program and course on what lawyers need to know about technology on a business level, as well as covering the more esoteric topics like technology’s impact on access to justice.
And there is more.
“I also want to put together an annual bootcamp to train lawyers and non-lawyers with a lecture series on IT and technology,” she said.
She expects to work with Mark F. Schultz, another nationally-recognized figure who is the newly-appointed chair of intellectual property law (the Goodyear chair) and director of the school’s Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology. “I am really excited that Mark Schultz is here,” she said.
Janoski-Haehlen is a Kentucky native. In addition to her juris doctorate from Northern Kentucky University, she also has a master’s degree in library science.
Prior to arriving in Akron in 2017, she served as associate dean of the law library at Valparaiso University Law School and as a faculty member and librarian at Northern Kentucky University, Chase College of Law.
She and her family live in Stow.