Legal Studies at Central Penn College Claims Tech Upgrades
The Legal Studies Department at Central Penn College has had a true-to-life mock courtroom and book-lined Law Library since the ‘70s, when the 142-year-old college moved its campus from Harrisburg to Summerdale. Now, modern new upgrades have brought the time-tested John D. DeLeo Courtroom and Law Library into the Internet age.
Robert Donley, Esq., Legal Studies Program Director at Central Penn College, said the wood-lined courtroom in Bollinger Hall is now equipped with a large, computer-compatible screen to allow testifiers, expert witnesses and victims to appear remotely, and to display evidence, air security camera footage, perform handwriting analysis and more. Donley expects that the courtroom will soon be equipped with a permanent computer, projector, and screen that will further update the venue with technology.
These facilities are used extensively by paralegal and legal studies students –along with several practicing attorneys, the Pennsylvania State Police and other law-related organizations in the area, Donley explained.
The Law Library also added a camera and projection equipment to enable students to attend legal studies classes remotely. This upgrade augments the computer resources currently available in the law library, which allows students to access Westlaw and other law-related internet resources.
These are the latest advancements in a program that, last year, earned reapproval for the College’s legal studies bachelor’s and paralegal associate degree programs by the American Bar Association’s Board of Delegates.
To earn ABA approval, these programs had to meet strict requirements regarding curriculum, faculty credentials, student success and placement, and many other academic and administrative standards.
Donley said these recent technology upgrades were critical after the American Bar Association modified its rules to green-light students’ remote attendance for on-ground courses. Previously, ABA guidelines required students to commute to campus to complete their legal studies coursework. Now, students from outside central Pennsylvania can earn associate and bachelor’s degrees through remote attendance in mandated in-ground courses.
“As technology continues to transform the legal profession and the judicial systems, as it has every other aspect of our lives, we are excited to see these technology upgrades on campus,” Donley said. “We work to improve our programs every day in order to consistently meet the exacting standards of the legal profession and provide our students with a top-notch education that prepares them for career success as paralegals, attorneys, and other law-related professions.”