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‘Student as Producer’: Teaching New Areas of Law and Preparing Law Students for a Digital, Globalized World

In a dynamic society it is important for students to learn adaptability. For legal education this means that law students need practice in responding to a variety of scenarios and contexts, as well as develop the creative and critical thinking skills. The “student as producer” approach provides opportunities for students to build such skills by having students produce work that could benefit not only their classmates but potentially future cohorts and contribute to the discipline’s knowledgebase. In approaching novel legal contexts such as law pertaining to the internet and digital platforms, this approach challenges students to engage with the fledgling existing material and by analyzing case studies develop interpretations and approaches to understanding this evolving arena. Not only does this benefit academia through the expansions of concepts, but it also provides practical preparation for students’ careers as lawyers. On the job, they may be faced with unexpected circumstances within a case or from a client; perhaps a clash of cultural misunderstandings. Having exposure to multiple contexts (e.g. other national jurisdictions) would increase their cultural sensitivity and help them better communicate with their client on what are the appropriate steps to resolve their issue. Through a survey of law students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s experiential course, The Internet and the Law, this article highlights the perceived effectiveness of the pedagogy that utilizes the student as producer approach, digital tools and internationalized curriculum. The findings speak to themes of accessibility, active engagement, collaborative processes, and practical knowledge.

About Speakers:
Dr. Natasha Pushkarna
Dr. Natasha Pushkarna is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Her doctorate is in Criminology, Law and Society with a specialization in Anthropologies of Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies from the University of California, Irvine. With her interdisciplinary degree she has pursued projects concerning the impact of innovative technology on society in contexts of criminal justice, security, and pedagogy. She has been an expert contributor for multiple reports to the United Nations; the latest concerning gender privacy in a digital context. Currently working under the Impact fellowship scheme at CUHK she is analyzing sentencing disparity issues in the criminal cases at the HK District Court and developing a web application to aid the judiciary, lawyers and NGOs, as well as a database to provide increased transparency and ease of internal review to promote consistency in sentencing approach.

Dr. Angela Daly
Dr. Angela Daly is Senior Lecturer in Law & Technology and Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Internet Law & Policy (Scotland). She is a socio-legal scholar researching and teaching the regulation of new technologies from a transnational perspective. She previously worked in the CUHK Faculty of Law (2018-19) where she won a CUHK Courseware Development Grant for the LLB course ‘The Internet and the Law’ to develop new digital resources. Now at Strathclyde she directs the fully online, distance learning LLM in Internet Law & Policy/IT & Telecoms Law.

Ms. Angel Fan
Ms. Angel Fan is the Project Officer of Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). In 2020, Angel teaches part-time at the Centre for English and Additional Languages (CEAL) at Lingnan University as a lecturer. At the same time, she is also a teacher participant of the Beijing International program for Teacher Development 2019- 2020. Angel holds a bachelor’s degree in Language Education (CUHK) and two master’s degrees (HKU), one in Literature and Cultural Studies, and the other in English Studies. Angel was a part-time Teaching Practice Supervisor and Instructor of The Faculty of Education (CUHK) teaching an elective course on Enrichment Activities for ELT. She was also a part-time tutor of The Open University of Hong Kong teaching a distant undergraduate course on linguistics. She is currently a doctoral student of Education with the University of Bristol.