Conrad Johnson is a nationally recognized expert in diverse areas of legal education. His current work centers on the impact of technology on law practice generally, with an emphasis on how technology can improve access to justice in the courts and enhance public interest lawyering.
For more than 30 years, Johnson has prepared students to enter the legal profession as effective and informed advocates. His commitment earned him the Willis L.M. Reese Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013, the Law School’s only teaching award. In the classroom, he helps students develop contemporary lawyering skills through hands-on experience with emerging digital technologies.
Johnson is the director of Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic which he co-founded with Prof. Mary Marsh Zulack and Brian Donnelly in 2001. It is the first clinic in the country to focus exclusively on the intersection of technology with lawyering. The clinic partners with public interest legal organizations, prominent jurists, and nonprofit legal technology initiatives, assisting them to deliver services that address systemic problems and increase access to justice. Under Johnson’s direction, clinic students have used technology to create innovative solutions for a broad range of clients, as well as aiding people affected by numerous historic crises including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson co-created the Law School’s first distance learning offering, the Seminar in Race-Conscious Remedies in 1999 with Prof. Kimberle Crenshaw, as well as its first e-course, The Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession, with Brian Donnelly.
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 Neighborhood Office.