Under the guidance of Founder and Dean ‘Julynn Lilliehook,’ the Second Life Law School has opened its virtual doors, and is now accepting new students.
Real-life law students are encouraged to join, but ‘Lilliehook’ notes on the school’s blog that “SLLS is a place for ANYONE to learn [because] everyone should understand the law.”
The SLLS already boasts newly donated in-world space and the aforementioned blog. ‘Lilliehook’ says that she plans to keep the law school “accessible to everyone who wishes to learn the general princples of law in the United States as well the legal systems around the real life world.” Virtually Blind interviewed ‘Lilliehook’ regarding the school.
Virtually Blind: What is the Second Life Law School?
Julynn Lilliehook: Second Life Law School is where I hope many everyday people come to learn about how law intersects their daily lives. It is a place for everyone interested in learning about the law, not just for real life law students or real life legal professionals.
VB: Why did you start it?
JL: In Second Life, as in real life, I find many people have little understanding of the law. I wanted to speak and teach about law in Second Life and created SLLS as a forum. I also wanted a place to hold mock jury trials of real life cases with SL residents as jurors. I read an article in the ABA Journal about Second Life and the potential for mock trials, which is what prompted me to join SL.
VB: Is there a role-playing aspect to the project? Can students play “law student” there?
JL: No, it’s not a role playing situation. Only legal professionals will be teaching or speaking at SLLS. However, anyone is welcome to join and become a “student.” There are no exams, no grades, no graduation, and no degree.
VB: Are you making your real name and background known and if so, can you tell VB’s readers a bit about yourself?
JL: I do not use my real name or details in SL, but I will do so here since it is not in-world. In real life, I am Suzanne Edwards, a licensed attorney with a solo law practice. My law practice is primarily criminal law at both the trial and appellate levels.
VB: Are you concerned about ethical questions regarding holding yourself out as running a virtual law school?
JL: No, I do not have any ethical concerns about running a fictional/virtual law school no more than I would expect those who run “adoption agencies” or deal in the slave trade on SL. Second Life is for the most part, still a game for me.
VB: Do you have any long term visions of accreditation for the school?
JL: No, I do not see that as a goal.
VB: Is there anything else you’d like to tell VB readers about the school?
JL: No individual legal advice will be given. My goal is to educate people to avoid legal problems, not to help them out of a situation they are already facing. I also would love to have lawyers come to try out their legal theories on mock juries or to polish their trial advocacy skills. Current RL law students are also encouraged to join and get help as they are studying for their law degrees.
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