“This is really about trying to remind students that having a professional degree gives them options,” says Troy Riddle of the summer class he is teaching called “Law Practice in the 21st Century.”
An ’08 graduate of Widener Law, Troy returned in April 2011 to serve as the school’s multicultural affairs officer after serving as an assistant director in the Office of Diversity Initiatives for the Law School Admission Council and practicing with a small law office in Philadelphia. He is also an adjunct faculty member, and he proposed the “Law Practice in the 21st Century” course as a way to help the next generation of lawyers deal with the impact of emerging technologies on legal trends.
Troy approached Total Attorneys, a Chicago-based provider of integrated technology solutions for solo practitioners and small law firms and received permission to use their web-based practice management platform with his students. He received 19 software licenses for the registered students and set up a virtual firm for the class to provide his students with a “completely virtual experience.”
Troy hopes that the class will expose students to some of the resources available to them when they go out into the world as practicing attorneys. The class work – which includes developing a client intake form, drafting an uncontested divorce petition, generating a client invoice, and developing a one-page web presence for their own firm – provides the students with hands-on experience, and helps them see both the challenges and the opportunities provided by technological advances. Guest speakers have also offered the students insight into their own real-world experiences.
In addition to teaching “Law Practice in the 21st Century,” Troy has been settling into his role as Widener Law’s multicultural affairs officer, working closely with both the Admissions Office
and the Office of Student Affairs
to coordinate the school’s diversity initiatives.
“What I really missed was the opportunity to meet and interact with eager, bright-eyed law students,” he says of his return to Widener Law. “I’m glad to be here in this capacity.”