“There are more students in lawschool, than lawyers walking the Earth.”
When the movie The Devil’s Advocate was released in 1997, this quote surprised many. But today, the facts speak for themselves.
In 2013, the intake at the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) was close to 300 students. There are many more pursuing undergraduate programmes in law at the University of the West Indies and several other tertiary institutions across the country.
The basic principles of demand and supply would assume that the market for new lawyers is already saturated, yet the numbers continue to rise.
The increased pressures of a rising student population have caused educators to revisit traditional teaching methodologies. In the internet age, classes are becoming more interactive, with social media, video and portable technology playing a greater role in the classroom.
In the last decade, a laptop computer was seen as an essential for the average student. Today laptops are being replaced or supplemented by tablet computers, with greater reliance of online resources rather than physical books.
Local educators must adapt to the changes in technology.
HWLS already supports a wireless student network, with access to databases such as WestLaw and LexisNexis.
Individual lecturers and tutors however have been slower to adapt to modern methods of teaching.
With platforms such as TWEN now available, it is essential that educators take advantage of the advances in technology, in order to ensure that no student is lost in the crowd.