Thursday, May 9, 2013

Have you heard about the ReInvent Law Lab?

The ABA Journal Blog's "New Normal" column today features a profile of two Michigan State law profs who have founded something called the ReInvent Law Laboratory which seems to be part think-tank, part law school curriculum reform initiative and part CLE.  What ties these projects together is the common goal of helping both law students and practitioners prepare for the dramatic changes presently overtaking the legal profession.  One of the more intriguing ideas floated by the ReInvent Law Lab profs is the development of a law school course that teaches students entrepreneurial skills so they can think of innovative ways to better deliver legal services.  Here's a link to the ReInvent blog where you can sign up for a newsletter and here's an excerpt from the ABA post that helps explain what it's all about.

Greetings from ReInvent Law, our law laboratory devoted to technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship at Michigan State University College of Law. You read that right. We are law professors with a laboratory where we teach technology, analytics, innovation, and entrepreneurship in legal services. We are law professors devoted to training lawyers for the law jobs of the 21st century. And yes, math will be on the exam. This is the New Normal in legal education.

. . . .

Entrepreneurship is one cross-cutting and core component that is often missing in legal education. At most institutions, {law + entrepreneurship} involves law students advising would-be entrepreneurs. While we support such efforts, this conception largely misses significant, emerging opportunities that are being created in the legal market. To this end, we are interested in training lawyers to be entrepreneurs, not merely to advise them. This training is useful for a variety of future pursuits, whether to better understand clients or to embark on one’s own entrepreneurial endeavor. Along with traditional legal training, entrepreneurship pedagogy also can help inspire students to curate new markets for legal services and thereby help fill the vast access-to-justice gap. Many appropriately bemoan the reality that millions in this country go without needed legal representation, but few actually craft scalable solutions to help tackle the problem. Clinics are simply not sufficient. The answer is better regulatory and business models with technology and analytics as core components.

Continue reading here.


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