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Polycom Enables North Carolina Central University School of Law to Deliver Virtual Courses, Legal Aid to 5,000 Students and Private Citizens with Vide
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Law school has delivered 23,000 hours of educational content over video in three years; Polycom network spans five campuses, 20 Legal Aid offices and two mediation centers
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sep 10, 2013: North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law is providing thousands of students and residents throughout the state with innovative educational services delivered to any physical location via video collaboration solutions from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C). To date, more than 5,000 students and private citizens have used over 23,000 hours of NCCU’s virtual legal services and distance learning.
Key NCCU programs leveraging video collaboration solutions include:
  • Virtual Justice Broadband Project – NCCU has deployed Polycom® RealPresence® video collaboration solutions as the foundation for its Virtual Justice Broadband Project, which is providing legal information and assistance throughout North Carolina. The Virtual Justice Broadband Project is also providing virtual access to courses from NCCU School of Law. Participating schools include Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Winston-Salem State University.
  • Virtual Legal Assistance -- NCCU’s Clinical Legal Education Program is using Polycom video solutions at 17 Legal Aid of North Carolina offices, three Pisgah Legal Services offices, and two mediation centers to offer students at participating universities and communities throughout North Carolina virtual access to staff attorneys. These staff attorneys provide legal information and advice on issues such as foreclosure, child custody, and avoiding the criminal justice system. 
  • Virtual Classrooms from NCCU -- NCCU’s use of video collaboration extends beyond legal assistance to virtual classrooms. The NCCU School of Law currently offers eight virtual courses for students pursuing law degrees, as well as two undergraduate courses for students who are considering legal careers.
“Most counties in North Carolina are considered rural and research has shown that people who live in rural areas lack access to affordable legal assistance. The placement of Polycom video collaboration equipment in the rural areas of North Carolina allows people to go to one of our rural sites and receive legal information and services from attorneys who are hours away. These services enhance the quality of their lives,” states Pam Glean, assistant dean for clinical and professional skills.
“It’s very exciting to be able to make a difference in the lives of thousands of students and citizens through virtual education and distance learning,” said Greg Clinton, director of information technology and facilities at the NCCU School of Law. “We’re just getting started, and plan to partner with universities all over the country to enable students from nearly any school to study law at NCCU. In fact, we’re already moving down that road with a Justice in the Practice of Law certificate program that is open to students from any school via virtual classes.”
Wendy Scott, professor of law at NCCU, added, “The Virtual Justice Broadband Project has allowed us to teach courses to undergraduates interested in attending law school, as well as students from law schools across the nation. NCCU is ahead of the curve when it comes to using technology to educate future lawyers.” Scott served as associate dean of the NCCU School of Law when the Virtual Classroom was launched, and she proposed the Justice in the Practice of Law certificate program.
NCCU School of Law has installed a Polycom® RealPresence® Experience (RPXTM) room for fully immersive video collaboration. This room serves as the primary location for live courses that are made available to remote students.
NCCU and its partners across North Carolina have installed Polycom® HDX® 8000 video collaboration systems at participating campuses and Legal Aid offices around the state. These are gathering places where students and citizens without Polycom desktop software can access NCCU’s virtual courses and legal services. The law school has also installed Polycom desktop software on 500 laptops and tablets to bring the HD video to those remote students. The law school is using the Polycom® RealPresence® Collaboration Server to scale its implementation, and the Polycom® Video Border ProxyTM E Series to secure its video collaboration network.