Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

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Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)
CALI's Logo
Type Education
Founded June 22, 1982; 32 years ago (1982-06-22)
Founder(s) Harvard Law School and University of Minnesota Law School
Key people Executive Director, John P. Mayer
Director of Membership Services, LaVonne Molde
Director of Internet Development, Elmer Masters
Director of Curriculum Development, Deb Quentel
Software Services Manager, Sam Goshorn
Director of Content Development, Sarah Glassmeyer
Area served United States, Some International
Product(s) CALI Lessons
Focus(es) Legal Education, Technology
Mission Improve legal education through innovation and technology.
Method(s) Computer-Aided Learning and Teaching
Employees 6
Members 200+ US Law Schools
30+ Undergraduate Programs
Various Other Organizations and Schools

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, also known as CALI, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit consortium of mostly US law schools that conducts applied research and development in the area of computer-mediated legal education.[1] The organization is best known in law schools for CALI Lessons, online interactive tutorials in legal subjects,[2][3] and CALI Excellence for the Future Awards (CALI Awards), given to the highest scorer in a law school course at many CALI member law schools.[4] Nearly every US law school is a member of CALI.[5]

CALI was incorporated in 1982 in the state of Minnesota by the University of Minnesota Law School and Harvard Law School.[6] The cost of membership to CALI is US$7,500 per year for US law schools; free for legal aid organizations, library schools, state and county law librarians; and US$250 per year for law firms, paralegal programs, undergraduate departments, government agencies, individuals, and other organizations.[7]

CALI Lessons[edit]

In the early 1980s, CALI set the precedent for creation and use of computer-assisted legal instruction exercises.[8] CALI pioneered pre-packaged, interactive, computer-based legal education materials in text form with its CALI Lessons.[9] CALI Lessons are web-based tutorials on a variety of legal subjects known as CALI Lessons.[10] Currently there are over 950 lessons in over 35 law school subjects in CALI's library of lessons.[10] The lessons are free to all CALI member schools' students.[11]

Tutorials are authored by law faculty using CALI's lesson authoring software called CALI Author.[12][13] CALI Author is available to download for free by member school faculty.[14]

Conference for Law School Computing[edit]

CALI sponsors an annual conference with computer-related programming for law school professionals.[15] The annual CALI conferences "have been a focal point for the interchange of ideas and innovation in legal education."[16]

CALI first hosted The Conference for Law School Computing in 1991 (then known as the Conference for Law School Computing Professionals) at Chicago-Kent.[17] From 1991 to 1994 the conference was hosted at Chicago-Kent, and since 1995 the conference has been hosted on-site by various CALI member law schools.[18]

CALI Excellence for the Future Awards[edit]

CALI member law schools can opt to give CALI Excellence for the Future Awards ("CALI Awards") to the students who have the highest scores in individual law school courses.[4] CALI Award winners are chosen by the professor of the class.[19]


CALI's old logo
Old logo 1980s-2009
  • 1970s - Interactive tutorials are developed on the University of Minnesota mainframe.
  • 1982 - CALI is incorporated as a Minnesota non-profit.[6]
  • 1987 - CALI publishes its 100th interactive tutorial.
  • 1991 - First Conference for Law School Computing Professionals (later the "professionals" was dropped from the title) at Chicago-Kent[17]
  • 1993 - First CALI website created.
  • 1994 - The first CALI CD-ROM containing the entire library of tutorials is published and distributed to over 100 U.S. law schools.
  • 1995 - The Conference for Law School Computing is hosted for the first time at a law school other than Chicago-Kent (University of Oregon School of Law).[20]
  • 2003 - CALI distributes free CD-ROMs for every first year law students at 196 US law schools (over 50,000).
  • 2007 - CALI distributes over 140,000 CD-ROMs (one for every law students at 205 US law schools).[21]
  • 2008 - CALI distributes a DVD-ROM with over 720 tutorials.


  1. ^ Tonsing, Dennis (2003). One thousand days to the bar, but the practice of law begins now. Wm. S. Hein Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 0-8377-3726-5. 
  2. ^ Info: CALI Lessons (Seattle University Law Library), 2009-09-10, retrieved 2010-03-04 
  3. ^ Kraynak, Joe (2004). Que's Official Internet Yellow Pages. Que Publishing. p. 282. ISBN 0-7897-3252-1. 
  4. ^ a b Wise, Carolyn (2007). The Law School Buzz Book, Book 2007. Vault Inc. p. 675. ISBN 1-58131-424-8. 
  5. ^ Wang, William K.S. (June 30, 2000). "Restructuring of Legal Education Along Functional Lines". Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues (17): 331. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  6. ^ a b Drake, Miriam A. (2003). Encyclopedia of library and information science, Volume 1. Dekker Encyclopedias Series 1. CRC Press. p. 654. ISBN 0-8247-2077-6. 
  7. ^ Who Can Join CALI?
  8. ^ Gramling, Jennifer; Thomas Galligan; Jean Derco (June 30, 2000). "New Approaches to Law Education: Making the Case for Web-based Learning". The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT) (2). Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  9. ^ Martin, Peter (1999). Imminent Challenges to Professional Identities and Institutional Competence (Commentary). CiteSeerX: 
  10. ^ a b CALI Lesson Listings
  11. ^ Spizman, Justin (2007). Insider's Guide to Your First Year of Law School: A Student-to-Student Handbook from a Law School Survivor. Adams Media. pp. 223–224. ISBN 1-59869-084-1. 
  12. ^ Teachers Wallet ( Online Tutoring Step-By-Step. Online Tutoring. p. 104. 
  13. ^ Fodden, Simon (2007-04-05). "Slaw: CALI Author". Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  14. ^ CALI Author
  15. ^ Edwards, John Duncan (2001). Emerging solutions in reference services: implications for libraries in the new millennium. Routledge. p. 14. ISBN 0-7890-1360-6. 
  16. ^ Oliphant, Robert E. (2001–2001). "Will Internet Driven Concord University Law School Revolutionize Traditional Law School Teaching". William Mitchell Law Review 29 (841): 844. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  17. ^ a b "Conference for Law School Computing Professionals". Chicago, Illinois. June 7–8, 1991. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  18. ^ Conference for Law School Computing Archives
  19. ^ John Marshall Law School Press Release on CALI Awards
  20. ^ 1995 Conference for Law School Computing Archive
  21. ^ 2007 CALI Press Release

External links[edit]