Legal Tech News: You Think Legal Education Can’t Change? 8 Innovative Ideas from Law Schools

Who said the law curriculum can’t be innovative?

Over the past several years, a number of law schools have answered the call to become more technology-savvy and forward-thinking, introducing topics like data security, e-discovery, and even the blockchain and artificial intelligence into their class offerings. This new focus extends outside the immediate classroom as well, with law schools looking to hold events like hackathons and change the nature of legal research, access to justice and more.

The fall semester of 2018 has been no different. Here’s a selection of a few ways we around the network have found law schools to be innovative in the past few months. And there are surely more initiatives happening both this semester and in the future to teach the next generation of lawyers that the law need not be stagnant.

Vanderbilt, online learning: Vanderbilt’s new V-Legal Executive Certificate is a series of three online courses that target business professionals who would benefit from some basic knowledge about legal issues and how to work effectively with lawyers.’s Karen Sloan called it “a masters in ‘legal studies-lite’ for professionals who don’t want to spend the time and energy on a year-long masters program.”

The courses cover the basic structure of the legal system and legal reasoning, as well as important business topics including contracts, discovery, atroney0client privilege and property. The goal, the school said is to have professionals “learn to think like a lawyer” when making decisions for their businesses and organizations, gaining skills that may have an immediate impact on their job performance and career advancement.”

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Vanderbilt Law School Launches Online Legal Education Program for Business Professionals

V-Legal helps business executives and managers become fluent in the legal principles and processes business leaders need to understand.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Vanderbilt Law School has created a first-of-its kind online program for non-lawyers. V-Legal is a series of three online courses designed to help executives and managers gain fluency in the legal principles, language and processes business leaders need to

Vanderbilt Law School (PRNewsfoto/Vanderbilt Law School)

understand. Professionals who earn the V-Legal certificate will learn to “think like a lawyer” when making decisions for their businesses or organizations, gaining skills that may have an immediate impact on their job performance and career advancement.

V-Legal was created in partnership with iLaw, a BARBRI company. iLaw partners with law schools to develop online law programs designed for lawyers and non-lawyers; it provides market research, instructional design, and student-recruitment. iLaw-BARBRI provides a full range of services that support law schools, including data analytics, remote learning, and bar preparation.

V-Legal responds to growing demand by non-lawyer professionals for legal knowledge. As legal regulation increases in all areas of business, executives and managers at all levels face a growing need to understand legal principles and how the law works. V-Legal introduces core legal concepts in an engaging, accessible way, making it an excellent, low-cost educational investment that provides long-term career benefits.

“V-Legal leverages the nationally renowned expertise of Vanderbilt Law faculty to help today’s business leaders successfully navigate business challenges in an increasingly global legal environment,” said Vanderbilt Law Dean Chris Guthrie. “Vanderbilt is excited to provide this unique opportunity to business-minded professionals who can use this extra foundation in law to improve their decision making and advance in their careers.”

V-Legal includes three courses:

  • The Architecture of American Law,
  • The Language of the Law: How Lawyers Think, and
  • The Content of American Law

Courses are taught by three award-winning members of the Vanderbilt Law faculty — Christopher Serkin, Suzanna Sherry, and Ingrid Wuerth.

Professionals in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors — including those working in healthcare, real estate, human resources, finance, and technology — will benefit from the V-Legal Executive Certificate from Vanderbilt Law.

Courses are self-paced and designed to be taken in sequence. V-Legal includes helpful knowledge checks and assessments to allow participants to monitor their progress. Course modules remain available online to allow participants to review the material or even retake courses to refresh their understanding of legal concepts.

Participants earn the V-Legal Executive Certificate to certify mastery of important legal concepts.

About Vanderbilt Law School: A perennial top 20 school, Vanderbilt Law School has trained students to become leading lawyers, business people, and political figures around the country and world for 140 years. It is known for its commitment to high-quality teaching and training as well as its cutting-edge legal research.