Legal Industry Takes Note of OU Law’s Digital Initiative

September 1, 2017 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
Virtual Reality station in the Inasmuch Collaborative Learning Center

As the first law school in the nation to launch a digital initiative, OU Law is pioneering the future of legal education. Now, the novelty and success of the college’s Digital Initiative is turning heads throughout the profession.

One of the key players in the college’s Digital Initiative is Darin Fox, Associate Dean and Director of the Law Library. Recently, Fox was interviewed for the ABA’s podcast “The Digital Edge,” where he discussed the Digital Initiative, how the recession affected the use of legal technology, and potential future uses of courtroom technology.

Listen to the podcast here:

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The podcast also has been featured on Law Technology Today, Above the Law, Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog, and in the American Association of Law Libraries’ KnowItAALL e-newsletter.

In addition, Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog hosted a Facebook Live tour of the Inasmuch Collaborative Learning Center, led by Fox and Kenton Brice, Digital Resources Librarian.

AALL Spectrum featured the Inasmuch Collaborative Learning Center in its May issue. The CLC at OU Law transformed 8,000 square feet of the library into a state-of-the-art space dedicated to promoting collaboration and giving law students an advantage in the digital age.

Fox and Brice also have been asked to speak on the Digital Initiative at several conferences. This year, their presentations include:



The OU College of Law embarked on its college-wide Digital Initiative in 2014. The program is built around three core elements: the common platform of the iPad, given to students at no cost; a digital training curriculum that educates OU Law students to use technology for productivity and practice; and the Inasmuch Foundation Collaborative Learning Center, a state-of-the-art space dedicated to connecting students to one another, and to the people and societies they will serve. 

The immersive training curriculum is designed and implemented by Fox and Brice. Fox has decades of experience in IT management and legal research expertise. Brice’s background consists of administering law firm technology to enhance efficiency in all aspects of professional and legal work. Together, Fox and Brice make up the team that oversees the creation, management and execution of OU Law’s Digital Initiative programming. 

Each year, the college offers more than 50 different types of training sessions that explore apps that aid in legal practice such as TrialPad, Firm Central and Drafting Essentials. Several sessions feature leading experts at tech companies such as Apple.

In May, the college celebrated the Class of 2017’s graduation, marking the first year an OU Law class collectively completed the school’s Digital Initiative programming, and making the college the first law school in the nation to do so.

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OU Law Conversations: Dean Emeritus Andrew Coats

What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.



OU Law Conversations: Robert Barnes

What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.


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