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Program on Law & Innovation The ways lawyers practice law are changing at a faster pace than ever before. Legal clients now demand efficiency, lower costs and better results. New technologies, including machine learning, have disrupted the legal services industry. Law itself is evolving rapidly to keep up with new technological developments, such as drones. Prepare for 21st century legal practice. Vanderbilt’s Program on Law & Innovation is designed to train the next generation of lawyers to succeed in tomorrow’s legal environment by anticipating the opportunities created by the rapid evolution of law and legal practice. The program offers classes and activities focused on four interconnecting themes: Evolving legal practice models. Law firms and

corporate legal departments are adapting to a more competitive market by restructuring and changing the ways their lawyers practice and the ways they price and deliver legal services.

“I work on a team that focuses on venture capital and technology licensing, and I use what I learned from the Legal Practice Technology, Law of Cyberspace, and Information Privacy classes on a daily basis. These classes brought new focus to practical considerations while retaining the advantages of the intellectual rigor that comes with more traditional law school classes.” JOE DAMON ’16

Associate, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Increased use of technology to deliver legal services. Machine-learning technology is increasing

the types of legal work done by computers, which are already used to review documents and predict liabilities and litigation outcomes.

Greater demand for legal innovation and entrepreneurship. Fueled by rapid social, economic

and technological change, innovations such as commercial drones or complex financial products demand new strategies for public oversight and present unanticipated challenges for the legal system. Expanded access to legal services. As lawyers

become more efficient and legal technologies more widely available and affordable, the market for legal services is poised for rapid expansion.

Explore the future of legal practice. The program’s innovative curriculum and array of activities expose Vanderbilt Law students to changes in the legal industry that will have a profound influence on the ways they practice law. Beginning with Law Practice 2050, the program’s anchor course, students explore scenarios for future social, economic, technological and environmental change—and the corresponding impact on legal services. Other core courses include: n n n n n n

Law as a Business Legal Practice Technology Legal Project Management Blockchains and Smart Contracts Legal Problem Solving Law of Cyberspace

Vanderbilt also offers an array of technology-oriented courses through its Intellectual Property Program as well as courses addressing cutting-edge trends in international, finance, corporate, criminal justice and other areas of law, and a full array of clinics and practical lawyering courses.

Turn challenges into opportunities. Rapid changes in the way legal services are delivered afford unprecedented opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, including new types of legal positions, new and evolving areas of practice, access to a broader client base, and opportunities to develop new legal products and services. Students in Vanderbilt’s Legal Practice Technology course explore the emerging advancements in legal search engines, document review, and other new legal solution platforms leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing. Annual AI Workshop The annual Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Law brings together academics and practitioners to explore how AI will be deployed in legal research and practice and the legal, policy and ethical issues that will likely be created as the use of AI pervades all sectors of the economy. Artificial intelligence is transforming the financial services industry and is on the cusp of revolutionizing healthcare and other industries, including legal services. Students help plan and attend this annual conference.

Vanderbilt’s permanent law faculty includes more than 50 scholars whose research examines and extends the frontiers of all areas of legal scholarship, policy and practice, and faculty affiliated with PoLI include experts in intellectual property and patent law, criminal justice, corporate law, financial and securities regulation, behavioral law and economics, and business operations. PoLI’s leadership team includes:

Program director J.B. Ruhl’s blog, Law2050, is a forum for envisioning the future of law, legal practice and legal education.

Program Director J.B. Ruhl, an expert in environmental, natural resources and property law who also focuses on the seismic changes in legal industry and rapidly evolving legal technology.

“Law 2050 was practical, relevant and challenged the status quo of the legal profession and encouraged us to think about the role of innovation in our future careers. Instead of waiting on the sidelines to see which changes occur in the legal market, Law 2050 encouraged us to be a part of the change. I’m excited for the future of the legal industry.” J.D./Ph.D. in Law and Economics 2018 Associate, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Washington, D.C.



PoLI hosts an annual Summit on Law and Innovation to foster a broader and more inclusive discussion about how to move the legal profession forward through innovation. SoLI brings together leaders in legal education, practice and technology with the goal of creating meaningful and measurable innovation across legal education, legal practice, and our systems of justice. Past summits featured a Human-Centered Design Bootcamp and sessions on legal technology and innovation in legal practice and legal education.


Learn more about Law & Innovation Program.


Summit on Law and Innovation


Program Coordinator Larry n Director of Innovation Design Bridgesmith, an expert in legal Caitlin Moon ’98, who designs project management, legal and produces curriculum for the technology and legal practice program and co-founded the annual innovation and co-founder of Summit on Law and Innovation. Legal Alignment, a legal technology Professor Moon teaches Legal and project management training Problem Solving, Law as a Business, and consulting firm. and Blockchain and Smart Contracts.

Music City Legal Hackers This group brings together law students, academics, practicing lawyers and other professionals throughout the year to find innovative approaches to the delivery of legal services to underserved populations using technology. The group also sponsors “hackathons” where legal service providers, technologists, policy makers and the client community come together to develop technological solutions for pressing legal needs in Nashville.

NEW IN 2019

Robots, Artificial Intelligence and the Law, a course developed and taught by intellectual property expert Daniel Gervais, examines how the use of robots in multiple environments poses challenges to the legal order—such as liability for damage caused by self-driving cars or AI-controlled devices or algorithms—and the interface of these technologies with law enforcement and the law of war.

Vanderbilt Law School 131 21st Avenue South Nashville Tennessee 37203 (615) 322-6452 (615) 322-1531 fax law.vanderbilt.edu

Š 2019 Vanderbilt University Law School

Profile for Vanderbilt Law School

Vanderbilt Law School Law and Innovation  

Vanderbilt Law School Law and Innovation  

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