New York Law School Launches Business of Law Institute to Prepare Students and lawyers for Legal Tech Careers
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NYLS logoInstitute Is Shaped by Data From Comprehensive Market Research Study

New York Law School (NYLS) will launch a Business of Law Institute this fall. The Institute will create a pipeline of new lawyers to join the growing legal tech sector and will align NYLS’s related educational offerings with the evolving needs of 21st-century businesses, law firms, government agencies, and organizations committed to bridging the access-to-justice gap.

Development of the Institute is guided by data from a comprehensive market research study commissioned by NYLS and published today. NYLS undertook the study as part of its strategic planning process for the next five years. The study reflects qualitative and quantitative research performed by Ari Kaplan Advisors from November 2017 to February 2018. Through in-depth interviews and online surveys, Ari Kaplan Advisors captured substantial recommendations and insights from more than 100 leaders at major law firms, corporations, and legal technology companies. The study also included focus groups with law students and broad research on the legal tech marketplace.

NYLS and Ari Kaplan Advisors are grateful to all of the qualitative survey participants who shared their perspectives for the study, including, among others:

  • Sanjay Bhandari, Partner, Ernst & Young (London)
  • Ira Coleman, Chairman, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Katie DeBord, Global Chief Innovation Officer, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Tony Gomes, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Citrix Systems
  • David Jordan, SVP & Chief Information Security Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Ann Rainhart, Chief Operating Officer, Briggs & Morgan
  • Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, Founder and Executive Director, Buying Legal Council
  • Mark Smolik, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, DHL Supply Chain Americas
  • Noah Waisberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Kira Systems
  • Christina Wojcik, Global VP, Technical and Legal Solution Consultants, Seal Software
  • John Woods Jr., Co-Head of the Global Cybersecurity Practice, Baker McKenzie LLP

Legal IT Today #20

Significant Findings

  • There is strong market demand for a Business of Law Institute.
  • Most (68%) of the law firm leaders reported that coursework in e-discovery/Technology Assisted Review would give employees or prospective employees a competitive advantage; this was followed by cybersecurity coursework (64%).
  • Law firm leaders would most like their new associates to have experience in advanced legal research (68%), e-discovery/Technology Assisted Review (67%), cybersecurity (65%), and legal technology selection and operation (56%).
  • Most (64%) of the corporate law department leaders said that the best way law schools can prepare their students to take advantage of changing market opportunities is to encourage them to learn about how technology is used beyond the law firm setting.
  • Corporate law department leaders said it was most important for their outside law firms to understand the applications and implications of privacy (73%), risk and compliance (71%), and cybersecurity (63%).
  • Law students in two different focus groups were most eager to learn about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and privacy—and were unanimously interested in attending technology learning labs.

The full report is available here.

“It’s no secret that the legal marketplace is undergoing profound change,” said NYLS Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. “While traditional legal education remains paramount, today’s law school graduates will gain a competitive advantage if they enter the job market ready to meet the technological and operational needs of their employers. Our market research, which draws on the insights of a deep well of industry leaders, strongly supports the creation of a Business of Law Institute.”

NYLS’s Business of Law Institute will offer a mix of dynamic courses and programs, beginning this fall:

  • The first course in development is the Business of Law Workshop and Seminar, which combines classroom instruction on timely regulations and technologies with hands-on work experience in a corporate legal department.
  • NYLS will establish a technology-centric Learning Lab, where students can gain exposure to industry-leading legal tech tools, including the e-discovery software Relativity.
  • NYLS will also offer upper-level seminars on Compliance and Bank Regulatory Matters, Smart Contracting and Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity and Risk Management taught by outside experts in these fields.
  • NYLS will launch a master class series featuring guest lecturers on topics related to regulatory structures, business concepts, and industry-standard technologies. Speakers scheduled thus far include the following:
    • Jason Anderman, Vice President and Senior Counsel at American Express
    • Lawrence Montle ’13, Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer at New York State Insurance Fund
    • Charles Post ’10, Managing Counsel and Director at BNY Mellon; Head of Legal Data Management & Advisory
  • NYLS will offer continuing legal education programs for attorneys working in relevant positions, to help them stay ahead of the legal tech curve.

Ari Kaplan, principal of Ari Kaplan Advisors, and Steven Harber ’92, an executive responsible for legal partnerships at Seal Software, worked closely with NYLS on the Institute’s launch.

 “I am honored to be part of this unique initiative,” said Ari Kaplan. “My interviews with in-house leaders at Fortune 1000 companies and Am Law 100 law firms confirm the survey responses from over 100 professionals calling for dynamic advancements in legal education that prepare the next generation of talent for a new era of legal services.”

 “I’ve been lucky to have a great career in legal tech since graduating from NYLS in 1992, and I’m proud to be part of this new phase of the School’s growth,” said Steven Harber. “The Business of Law Institute will make students aware of the vast opportunities presented by the multi-billion-dollar legal tech market, prepare them academically and experientially for those jobs, and forge new ways to network with potential employers.”

NYLS will release additional updates about Business of Law Institute coursework in the coming months.


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