ABA technology expert shares practical wisdom with Duke Law students

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Hoping to further ease their transition from the classroom to the practice of law, Duke Law students attended a Jan. 21 presentation on the use of technology in today's law firms by David Whelan, the Director of the American Bar Association Legal Technology Resource Center.

Whelan, a frequent commentator on the effect of technology on the legal profession, shared his experience working with major law firms across the country as a technology consultant for the ABA. Students learned about the different types of information technology they are likely to confront when entering practice, including such diverse tools as case management systems, billing and time entry systems, document management procedures, and trial preparation and presentation applications.

Whelan's presentation was part of Duke Law's innovative "Technology in the Practice of Law" lecture series, intended to give Duke Law students a technological edge when they leave academia and begin practice. The series provides students familiarity with law firm technology, focusing on the practical skills and knowledge they will need to hit the ground running after graduation or during their summer associate experiences. Additional topics will focus more specifically on different technologies, including electronic communication with clients, trial courtroom presentation and ligation support. Scheduled speakers include:

  • Deanne C. Siemer, editor of several books on using technology in trial practice
  • Kenneth J. Hirsh, Director of Computing Services at Duke Law
  • Duke Law alumnus Don Wallis '74 and Ralph Barber, senior partner and IT director, respectively, for the Jacksonville office of the law firm Holland & Knight.

For more information, please contact Ken Hirsh at