The Center for Legal & Court Technology (CLCT) is a non-profit research, education, and consulting organization that works to improve the administration of justice through the use of technology. It aims to assist all members of the legal profession, from courts and government agencies to judges and lawyers.
Begun in 1993 as the Courtroom 21 Project, CLCT is a joint project of William & Mary Law School and the National Center for State Courts. From the outset, CLCT and its team have worked hard to accomplish our mission: To improve the world’s legal systems through the appropriate use of technology. To do so, CLCT:
- is a world center for empirical and legal research on courtroom and related technologies,
- holds legal technology demonstrations and discussions for jurists, lawyers, law faculty, court administrators, technologists, architects, and others from throughout the world, and
- is involved in judicial and lawyer education and training,
CLCT is well known for its involvement with the McGlothlin Courtroom at William & Mary Law School: the world’s most technologically advanced trial and appellate courtroom and classroom.
CLCT at William & Mary Law School
CLCT places great emphasis on service to the Law School. CLCT is an integral part of the law school experience for students offering many opportunities to get involved. Popular courses include Applied Evidence in the Technological Age, Technology-Augmented Trial Advocacy, and AI & More: Legal Issues Likely to Arise from AI & Related Emerging Technologies.
The Center also conducts experimental trials, or “laboratory trials,” which explore how technology can be used to advance the administration of justice. In conducting these trials, CLCT often collaborates with major national organizations, such as the Justice Department, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and, most recently, the U.S. Navy. We frequently use the assistance of a number of Participating Companies and Organizations that support us through the loan of equipment and expertise. Students serve as counsel and distinguished federal and state judges preside over lab trials.
AI & Emerging Technology Research
In 2017, CLCT was awarded a grant by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (funded by Cisco) to research and educate members of the legal profession about legal issues likely to arise from the use of technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and data analytics. Since receiving this grant (and subsequent renewal), CLCT has launched and developed collaborative, international research efforts, including academic scholarship, innovative law school and continuing education courses, international conferences and workshops, student writing competitions, and a podcast on emerging technologies and the law.
CLCT is also a Partner in the Autonomy Through Cyberjustice Technologies (ACT) Project, where it participates in working groups researching whether and how legal and adjudication systems can effectively and responsibly use of AI decision-support. This six-year research initiative, beginning in 2018, aims to determine the extent to which these systems are already in use in the legal profession and work towards producing a best practices guide to “bolster reliable results while protecting legal rights and minimizing legal liability.”
CLCT & the Courts
The Court Affiliates Program is a court network with a mission to employ useful, efficient, and economical legal technology to enhance the administration of justice. CLCT provides exclusive written content, online and in person workshops and conferences, and other support services to educate and advise courts on the use, integration, and evolution of legal technologies.
CLCT also performs comprehensive, impartial consulting services for both domestic and international courts, offering tailored advice on how best to meet their needs through the design, use, and implementation of high-tech court systems.
CLCT hosts a number of conferences. In addition to its annual Court Affiliates Conference, past conferences include the Conference on Privacy and Public Access to Court Records, arranged with the support of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts; the Courthouse Construction and Renovation Conference; and the 10th Annual Conference on Substantive Technology in Legal Education and Practice with participants from many countries. In connection with its AI research grant, CLCT hosted its inaugural 2018 International Workshop: Legal Issues Lurking Behind the Convergence of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Blockchain.
This content has been updated on August 11, 2020 at 1:33 pm.