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Innovation in Legal Education: A Panel Discussion at Relativity Fest 2018


With fall nearly upon us, it’s quickly becoming “conference season” for those of us practicing eDiscovery, data security and privacy, and technology law. And one of the first conferences kicking off the season is Relativity Fest 2018, held from September 30th through October 3rd this year in Chicago.

With more than 150 sessions across 18 different areas of focus, there’s something for everyone at Relativity Fest. Among the sessions being offered as part of the academic track is a new, one-hour panel discussion entitled “Law School Innovation and the Future of Law Practice.”

I’m privileged to join Elizabeth Fraley, Assistant Professor at Baylor Law; Daniel Linna, Visiting Professor at Northwestern Law; and Joy Murao, founder and CEO of Practice Aligned Resources, as we lead a collaborative discussion of ways the legal education community can better serve its constituents – including law students, law schools, legal employers, clients, and the public interest.

As members of the inaugural faculty, Liz and I will speak about Baylor Law School’s new and innovative Executive LL.M. Program in Litigation Management – the nation’s first LL.M. degree program dedicated to teaching litigation management skills to licensed attorneys with three or more years of experience. The subject of one of my recent blog posts, the curriculum runs the gamut 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.

Daniel will speak about the groundbreaking initiatives of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice, where he serves as a co-director. During its pilot year, the Institute put more than 80 law students through both basic and advanced “boot camps” designed to enhance the students’ skills in a range of practical subjects, with a focus on finding “new ways to reduce cost without increasing legal risk.” The students were then matched as interns with more than 20 leading companies around the country. The Institute’s goals – “supported by a coalition of lawyers, legal educators, and allied professionals” – are to create “an advanced multidisciplinary curriculum for law students and lawyers” and to build “a talent pipeline for forward-thinking legal employers.”

If you’re attending Relativity Fest this year, I hope you’ll join us at 8:30 a.m. on October 2nd and contribute to the dialogue in person. If you can’t make it, please contact us to share your thoughts and questions in advance. And be on the lookout for a post-Fest blog post, where I’ll recap the highlights.

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.