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The Legal Education Commons

As you may have seen around the web this week (e.g., on Open Access News), the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), with the support of the Berkman Center, has launched the Legal Education Commons, where law professors can exchange and access teaching resources under open Creative Commons licenses. The Legal Education Commons makes over 700,000 court documents, drawn from, available to legal educators. In addition, CALI has donated 300 original illustrations from its popular online tutorials, “CALI Lessons,” making the Commons the first and largest pool of free images designed specifically for use in legal education.

Access the Legal Education Commons at

The project is just lifting off, and you are invited to try it out and provide feedback in this early stage. And please spread the word, too, to those who might be interested -- and encourage them to contribute and make use of the Commons. It will grow in breadth and depth as legal educators contribute their own materials and begin to use those of others. Almost any kind of resource can be shared in the Commons, from text documents to PowerPoint presentations to MP3s.

As our friends over at Creative Commons highlight, "All material in the Legal Education Commons is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license (CC BY-SA), making it interoperable with a great deal of other open educational resources," meaning that educators can freely download and use in their day-to-day teaching without having to go through an arduous and expensive license acquisition process.

Congratulations to Berkman Fellow Gene Koo and his collaborators at CALI on this big step toward open, remixable legal teaching materials.

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