Launching Today: Suffolk Law School’s Legal Innovation & Technology Online Certificate Program

Suffolk University Law School’s Legal Innovation & Technology Certificate Program officially launches today, and I’m immensely proud to be the architect of one of the first two courses to be rolled out.

The LIT Certificate Program provides participants with a thorough grounding and detailed understanding of the most important aspects of the new legal services market. There are six courses in the program, each delivered by an experienced legal practitioner or industry analyst who delivers ten full hours of information, instruction, and insight into the course’s subject matter.

In addition to the online lectures, there are also discussion board activities, knowledge checks, and outside reading and references. Each course is self-paced and lasts about ten weeks, with approximately two to five hours per week of work. You can enrol in any number of courses, including the full complement of six to obtain the LIT Certificate — individual courses cost about US$3,000, while the entire certification costs US$15,887.

The program is ideal for lawyers, of course, both in law firms and in-house. But it’s also geared towards legal knowledge professionals, chief executive officers, legal operations personnel, marketing and business development directors, and pretty much any other member of the increasingly diverse legal marketplace.

Your course instructor (not exactly as illustrated)

My own course is titled 21st Century Legal Services, and is actually based on an in-person class I created several years ago for Suffolk Law School upper-year students and that still forms part of the school’s real-world Legal Innovation and Technology Concentration. This online course is much more detailed — 600 minutes of instruction in total, so if you’ve ever wondered how much time you’d be willing to spend in my company, this would be an excellent way to find out.

Here’s the official description of my course: “You’ll learn critical market insights and strategic and tactical recommendations for operating a law firm or legal services business. The coursework will focus on the current upheaval in the market and how to compete successfully in the new legal services landscape to come.” I’ve broken down my ten hours of instruction into 20 30-minute lessons — here’s the course list:

  1. Course overview
  2. The new legal market
  3. The fall of the old firm
  4. The rise of the new firm
  5. The why of law firms
  6. Markets and clients
  7. Strategy and the client
  8. The competitive strategy
  9. The culture strategy
  10. The rise of operations
  11. The analytics game
  12. How much will it cost?
  13. Beyond rainmakers
  14. The new skill sets
  15. The millennial question
  16. The succession challenge
  17. Diversity matters
  18. Research and development
  19. How lawyers get paid
  20. Managing and leading change

Each of these lessons is accompanied by an in-depth background syllabus of several articles and blog posts that I’ve selected from among the sharpest and best-informed writers, reporters, and consultants in the legal market today. The only text I’ve (immodestly) assigned for the course is my own book, Law Is A Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm.

Also available today, concurrently with my course, is Legal Operations, by Lucy Bassli, former Assistant GC of Microsoft and now Chief Legal Strategist at LawGeex and Founder and Principal of InnoLegal Services PLLC. This terrific series of lessons instructs participants on the functions that make up the evolving roles in legal operations, specifically across corporate legal departments. I personally think Legal Ops has enormous potential to change the way in which corporate legal services are envisioned, structured, and delivered, and so I highly recommend Lucy’s course for your consideration.

Lucy and I are co-launching the Program with our two courses today. The other four lessons will be phased in over the next eight months — here’s what still to come:

September 2018

Process Improvement and Legal Project Management
Instructor: Catherine Alman MacDonagh

You will learn how to deliver legal services with greater efficiency and effectiveness. By learning process improvement and legal project management, you’ll gain competitive advantages in the marketplace.

Design Thinking for Legal Professionals
Instructor: Robert Taylor

Design thinking is a method of innovation that integrates the needs of users, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for users’ success. This course will focus on the application of these skills for legal professionals from the full spectrum of work within the field.

January 2019

Legal Technology Toolkit
Instructor: Erika Rickard

Understanding the significance of technology to the delivery of legal services is vital. This course focuses on hands-on learning with tools that are changing the work of legal professionals.

The Business of Delivering Legal Services
Instructor: Mary E. Juetten

As new methods and tools impact society, there will be increasing changes to the structures of legal organizations. This course will focus on the impacts of tech on law firms and law departments.

If the LIT Certificate or my “21st-Century Legal Services” course sounds like it might be of interest to you or your organization, you can learn more from this informational webinar or by contacting the course’s director, Prof. Gabe Teninbaum. I’m a big fan of what Suffolk Law School is doing here to make expert instruction and guidance on legal innovation more widely available to busy professionals anywhere at any time.

And speaking personally, I’m pretty proud of the course I’ve developed for this program — feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.



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