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Practice Ready: The Baylor Law Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management

Baylor Blog

“We graduate ‘practice-ready’ attorneys.”

So said Jim Wren, Professor at Baylor Law, during one of many conversations with him earlier this year. U.S. News & World Report agrees, ranking the trial advocacy program at Baylor Law among the top five programs in the country. The faculty and staff in Waco proudly buck the trend of many law schools – those that are content to teach students “how to think about the law” without regard to further instructing them how best to serve their clients or other stakeholders in practical, cost-effective ways.

And so it is no surprise that Jim and his colleague Elizabeth Fraley, Assistant Professor at Baylor Law, teamed up to create the nation’s first LL.M. degree program dedicated to litigation management skills. As Jim described it during an interview with Level 2 Legal’s CEO Joey Seeber, “[t]here is a huge need to address economics in the legal profession. . . And within the legal profession, the wild west of legal economic management is litigation management. . . The economics [of modern litigation] takes special understanding and tools. Baylor has always emphasized litigation, so, who better to take this on than us?”

Targeted at licensed attorneys with three or more years of experience under their belts, the new LL.M. program “provides candidates with both a broad understanding as well as a deep dive into the highly valued disciplines, tools, and techniques critical to successful litigation management.” The curriculum ranges from “the fundamentals of litigation planning, strategy, and risk management, to electronic discovery, case assessment, and fee management, to new and evolving technology tools, data analytics, and cybersecurity.”

As any company faced with even a modest lawsuit or investigation knows, the single largest cost-driver short of trial itself is the pretrial discovery process – with eDiscovery the largest cost component thereof. Learning how to manage discovery and eDiscovery efficiently is critical to managing litigation well.

I am privileged to serve alongside an incredibly talented group of inaugural faculty members as the LL.M. program gets underway this fall. Teaching “Management of Electronic Discovery” in the Spring 2019 trimester, we’ll cover a range of topics, including the rules and ethics of eDiscovery, eDiscovery cost containment and budgeting, considerations of privilege and work-product protection, the nuances of international discovery, and the technology of eDiscovery. We’ll take a deep dive into each phase of the eDiscovery lifecycle, as represented by the EDRM framework. The course wraps up with several days of intense and practical eDiscovery workshops on campus.

For general information about the program, please email Jim Wren. Feel free to contact us for specific information about the eDiscovery components of the program. Jim put it well earlier this year when he said, “We're putting the difference makers in place. That's my hope. That's what I want to see [coming out of the LL.M. program].”

I couldn’t agree more.