By the end of the class with Josef, my students created a chat bot. The students loved it. They sent me emails about how great it was. While I have one or two students who are programmers, most of them have no computer science or engineering background, and they were saying, “oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did that!”
I’m finally, actually doing what I’ve tried to do all this time, which is to introduce students to technology, get them more comfortable with it, and to understand the benefits of it.
I’m looking forward to the ‘Hack Homelessness’ hackathon, where my students will get a lot more time to work with Josef.
We’re looking forward to that too! For our readers, can you give a bit more background on how that came about?
I created a class last year, built around the idea of having a week-long hackathon instead of an exam. Because UC Hastings is a standalone law school, we don’t have a business or engineering school, so a key idea of the course is to teach students how to collaborate with students from other disciplines. So it’s a great way to get people from different backgrounds to understand the problem of homelessness and how to find a solution to ‘hack’ homelessness.
Not only did my students tell me last year that it was an amazing experience, but I had engineers come by and say “I have been in so many hackathons, but this has been, by far, the most meaningful.”
I suppose my epitaph would say ‘I like change’.
I’m always looking for new things. That’s probably why I’m an outlier in the legal profession and legal academia.