Southwestern Law School

Southwestern Law School delivers enhanced legal education with Mediasite.

Southwestern Law School delivers enhanced legal education with Mediasite. Southwestern Law School needed high-quality webcasting technology for a new state-of-the-art courtroom. The courtroom is used for teaching purposes as well as hosting actual court sessions and serving as a community resource. Staff members wanted the ability to digitally capture courtroom proceedings and make them available for later use. The technology needed to support graphic displays of evidence and PowerPoint© slides. The school looked to Mediasite for a highly capable, flexible system.

The law school is now capturing more than three trial classes per week and has expanded its curriculum with recorded content. Students appreciate the accessibility to class materials and receive a more holistic education with the Mediasite courtroom experience. The school hopes to add more courses to its curriculum using Mediasite, as well as guest lectures, alumni presentations and special events.

At a glance

  • Schools wanted to expand students’ courtroom experiences to offer a more holistic approach to legal education
  • Mediasite implemented into brand-new courtroom and used to capture practice trials, jury deliberations, counseling, negotiating and other legal proceedings for live and on-demand viewing
  • Students can better prepare themselves for real courtroom activities with total access to course materials, and faculty can teach normally

Challenge

Mr. William K. Evans, director of courtroom technologies / audiovisual services at Southwestern Law School, was working to create a state-of-the-art full-sized courtroom. His intent was to provide faculty and law students with the experience of training in a realistic, technologically-advanced setting. The courtroom has hosted actual court sessions. It also serves as a community resource for attorneys, judges and court administrators, while at the same time serving as an important venue for the law school’s teaching and training curriculum.

Under supervision of faculty who have practiced law, students are taught to handle all types of challenging cases – including domestic relations, bankruptcy, wills, guardianships, neighborhood disputes, property claims, Social Security issues and criminal misdemeanors. Students are allowed to conduct investigation of facts, draft documents, handle negotiations, take depositions and represent clients in administrative and court proceedings during the semester coursework. Mr. Evans required comprehensive audio and video capabilities which would allow him to capture these mock proceedings and live conferences that took place in the campus’ new courtroom.

“One of our first critical factors was to be able to digitally capture content from the courtroom proceedings. Second, we needed to be able to access that captured content at a later time, so that the faculty or students could then review the live conference or their mock trial classes. They would be able to see the PowerPoint® slides or presented evidence used by the instructors or themselves during the class. They would also be able to hear comments, remarks or instructions, all in a real-time setting and experience. We also wanted to capture live court sessions that the university would deem beneficial to their course curriculum,” explained Mr. Evans. “We wanted a tool which would allow this flexibility to both us and our end users, while still creating quality content.”

Solution

After reviewing numerous solutions, Mr. Evans and the Law School purchased Mediasite for their new courtroom.

“We looked at a number of systems/solutions, such as VBrick, AMX and Crestron, before finding Mediasite,” said Mr. Evans. “We chose Mediasite for its functionality and ease of use; plus, it provided the best product for our potential end-users: the faculty and student body. It had everything we needed.”

Now, the school’s AV department, run by Mr. Evans, is capturing up to three trial classes a week with more to follow. The faculty members teaching Trial Advocacy and ICN (Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating) mediasite their classes from the Julian Dixon Courtroom/Mediation suite. The AV department also captures actual legal proceedings and other special events that take place in the new courtroom.

Result

With Mediasite, Southwestern Law School has initially expanded its curriculum, and the students’ trial advocacy and ICN experiences on campus, to offer a more holistic approach to their legal education. Because students can watch class lectures on-demand, the school is better able to serve students’ need for total accessibility to their class materials. In the near future, Southwestern Law School will enhance use of their Mediasite system so that faculty and students who are interested in other areas of law beyond their primary major can access lectures and presentations in conjunction with Mediasite’s user group options. Schools will virtually network their captured materials to each other or with other interested parties within Mediasite user groups.

“Mediasite is easy to use and has met all of our recording and web publishing needs,” said Mr. Evans. “It has exceeded our expectations by making courtroom activities available on-demand and will make distance learning a possible avenue of growth for the future of our campus.”

Southwestern Law School foresees growth in its future use of Mediasite. The school is exploring the addition of more courses as part of its curriculum. Students will soon be able to access guest lecturers, notable alumni presentations and other special campus events via Mediasite.

About Southwestern Law School

The Southwestern University School of Law (also known as Southwestern Law School) is a private ABA-accredited law school located in Los Angeles, California with approximately 1,000 students. Founded in 1911, it is one of the oldest law schools in California and the second oldest law school in Los Angeles, as well as the only law school in the country to offer four courses of study leading to the J.D. degree. Southwestern alumni include public officials, from members of Congress to mayors, district attorneys and over 200 judges, as well as founders of major law firms and general counsels of multinational corporations.