In the early ’90s, a Student Information System, InfoLink, was created for CWSL to store critical data – student records, payment accounts, and vast amounts of other sensitive documentation. Throughout the decades, technology evolved at a fever pitch while InfoLink remained the technological backbone of the school. Initially, it provided a sturdy foundation, but the program was written in Microsoft’s Visual Basic and updates were difficult, if not impossible. Their technology team added functionality and created workarounds so that staff and students could still access their information. Each patch would solve the immediate problem, but by doing so, it also created a more tangled web around an archaic software program.
As the COVID pandemic forced the world to rely on technology in new ways, it was time to modernize the way information was being handled electronically. A program that could only run on a Windows 7 virtual machine, but was trusted with all the information and records for San Diego’s oldest law school was impractical and, with each new software update, presented additional risks.
In 2021, David Blake, VP of Administration, accepted the challenge to modernize the school’s software platform. Armed with the unwavering support of his school, he set out to find the solution. Boasting the best off-the-shelf education management software on the market, CWSL inked a deal with a separate, large-scale software company. Promises were made, expectations were high, and excitement was in the air. Finally, a system that would unify all the school’s departments into a modern software product was within reach.
And so, a budget was set to replace their current software infrastructure. Hopeful that the company would be able to provide the solution of their dreams, interviews were conducted to untangle the inner workings of InfoLink.
But, CWSL also knew that they couldn’t go back. It was too dangerous to continue to rely on a platform whose inner workings were understood by so few, and whose continued operation depended on other discontinued software. Each of the records in the database represented an extraordinary person who had invested in their education and was set to leverage their newly-learned skills to help worthy legal causes, and this valuable data now had far from a certain future.