Each year, new students receive numerous digital accounts including: emails, Westlaw, Lexis, LawID, NetID, and various others. At the start of this year, ITS began consolidating accounts in the hopes of achieving a “single sign-on” regime, or at least something close. As a result of this consolidation, law school specific emails (i.e. @students.law.uconn.edu, “@students”) are being phased out. Below, Pro Se answers a few questions about the change.
Where does this leave student organizations?
Currently, student groups receive email addresses from the law school directly. Examples include: Law Review’s firstname.lastname@example.org or the Pro Se’s email@example.com. As student emails are being phased out, student groups could lose their current emails as well. As the main campus is not offering student groups email accounts through Google Apps for Education (i.e. @uconn.edu, “@uconn”) and are instead encouraging organizations to create their own accounts through gmail or other services, an additional issue has arisen. Organizations are not allowed to use UConn’s registered trademarks and must comply with a yet unwritten branding policy, to “be released this fall.” As a result of these issues, UConn Law’s ITS is working on a solution. Though the specifics have not been finalized, it is their hope that the school will be able to continue providing groups with UConn branded email addresses.
What does this mean for Clinics?
For clinics, students are required to unforward @students email to personal accounts and use the actual student email system, which is only accessible to students through a web interface and cannot be configured on smartphones, tablets, or computer email programs. The reasoning provided for this requirement is that the school has greater access and control over the internal email servers located in the library than they do over those at Google, and further that there’s a belief that these emails are more secure. Generally, email is never “secure” and many academics and legal professionals have begun to discuss whether or not it is ever appropriate to email confidential client information. Though clinics have been in talks with ITS about continued use of these student mail servers, it seems likely that clinics will have to better evaluate their current methods of communicating confidential information with their clients and that they will have to implement a new policy either next semester or starting next year.
Currently students can enroll in community emails to be informed about events and information from student groups. Though the community list’s long-term continuation is unclear, in the near future they will transition from the @students for 2Ls & 3Ls to the @uconn accounts, as is already the practice for 1Ls.
Email Forwarding and Filtering
On August 16th, Director of ITS, Jessica de Perio Wittman sent an email to all students regarding the technology changes. In her email she advised students to transition towards the @uconn accounts, forwarding the @students to it to ensure all school communications end up in the same place. Additionally, students using the @students address, un-forwarded, are advised to forward any individual emails stored on the student server, because after the accounts are phase out, students will no longer have access to those old emails. Students can change the forwarding of their @students by submitting a request here.
One of the biggest advantages to using Google Apps for Education is that it uses the Gmail system with which most students are familiar. Students can configure the email on their devices, experience fewer browser issues, and Gmail’s filters and other features make it easy for people to control and organize their inboxes.