Conrad Johnson is a nationally recognized expert in diverse areas of legal education. His research interests center on the intersection of technology and the law—namely, how technology can further access justice in the courts and enhance public interest legal practice.
For more than 20 years, Johnson has prepared students to enter the legal profession as effective and informed advocates, a commitment that earned him the Law School’s Willis L.M. Reese Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. In the classroom, he helps students develop modern-day lawyering skills through hands-on experience with emerging digital technologies.
Johnson is director of Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic, which he co-founded in 2001. It is the first clinic in the country to focus exclusively on the impact of technology in the legal sphere. The clinic partners with public interest legal organizations, prominent jurists, and nonprofit legal technology initiatives, training their staff to efficiently deliver services and quickly track systemic problems. Under Johnson’s direction, clinic students have created innovative technical solutions for a broad range of clients and aided people affected by numerous historic crises.
Johnson and his clinic collaborators later created The Collateral Consequences Calculator, a free resource that helps judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys identify the unanticipated consequences of criminal convictions. Johnson also co-created the Law School’s first distance learning offering, the Seminar in Race-Conscious Remedies, as well as its first e-course, The Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession.
Johnson served as Columbia Law School’s director of Clinical Education from 1992 to 1996. For 11 years, he also led the Law School’s Fair Housing Clinic, which specialized in civil rights litigation. Johnson joined the Law School faculty in 1989 after two years as an assistant professor at the City University of New York School of Law. After graduating from Columbia University in 1975, he served as attorney-in-charge of The Legal Aid Society’s Harlem office.