LawWithoutWalls is a part-virtual collaboratory that develops the skills necessary to provide effective legal services in today’s global, multi-disciplinary, and cross-cultural marketplace. It centers on the intersection of law, business, technology, and innovation. Over a 3-month period, LawWithoutWalls teams up students from elite law and business schools around the world with academic, lawyer, and entrepreneur mentors to develop business plans that tackle the main problems facing legal education and practice today. The goal is for the team of students and mentors to develop implementable business solutions and to cultivate new platforms for relationships while honing problem solving, teaming, technology, cultural competency, project management, entrepreneurism, and social networking skills that can be applied to every day practice.
LawWithoutWalls is a part-virtual, educational collaboratory created by Michele DeStefano and Michael Bossone at the University of Miami School of Law. It brings together a transdisciplinary group of people and institutions from around the world to engage on the burning issues facing the legal profession, collaboratively solve legal problems, and develop the skillsets needed to thrive in the new, global legal marketplace.
The skills and expertise honed by LawWithoutWalls go beyond that needed by just lawyers. They are the skills needed by the professionals of our future such as presentation, communication, entrepreneurial, teamwork, global and cross-cultural, business planning, branding, technology, social media, business networking, self-awareness, work-life balance, innovative research, professionalism, ethics, and idea generation.
After a rigorous application process, students from Fordham Law, Harvard Law, IE Business School, IE University, Indiana University School of Law, Miami Law, Montréal Law, National Law School of India University, New York Law School, Peking University School of Transnational Law, São Paulo Laws, Stanford Law School, Sydney Law School, Tel Aviv University, Universidad Católica de Chile Law, University College London Laws, University of St. Gallen Law School, and Wharton School of Business are teamed up to identify a problem in legal education or practice. Over the semester, each team develops a Project of Worth that creatively solves its identified problem. In addition to students, each team includes an Academic Mentor, two Practitioner Mentors, an Entrepreneur Advisor, and a Corporate Mentor, all of whom virtually guide the students and ensure that the Projects of Worth are creative, feasible, and valuable to an identified target audience. In order to cultivate relationships, LawWithoutWalls kicks off outside of the United States each January at one of the participating schools. It culminates with a ConPosium at Miami Law each April where students present their Projects of Worth to a mult-disciplinary panel of judges including venture capitalists. As a key component to LawWithoutWalls, students participate in Virtual Thought Leader Sessions wherein experts from around the world: 1) share their multidisciplinary perspectives on the needed changes in legal education and practice; and 2) teach professional, team building, idea generation, and entrepreneurial skills.
LawWithoutWalls is, among other things, an attempt to eliminate the barriers between faculty and students, business and law, professors and practitioners, education and practice. It is an exciting and unique opportunity to collaborate across institutions, countries, and cultures and gain invaluable experience and insight into the world of law and business. Above all else, LawWithoutWalls engages those with a stake in Law's future and provides them with a powerful vehicle for innovation and change.