Miami Law's LawWithoutWalls (LWOW), a part-virtual, collaborative academic model that unites students, faculty, practitioners from around the world to innovate legal education and practice, received the coveted 2011 InnovAction Award. Presented by the College of Law Practice Management, an honorary world-wide organization that recognizes excellence in law practice management, the award acknowledges outstanding innovation in the delivery of legal services.
"Winning this award is especially rewarding because it indicates that we have begun to meet one of LawWithoutWalls' main goals and that is to affect change in the global legal marketplace – in education and legal practice," said Miami Law Professor Michele DeStefano, Founder and Co-Creator of LWOW.
"The InnovAction award has been given in the past to internationally renowned legal organizations that developed innovative programs like Axiom Legal and DLA Piper. The fact that a law school initiative was recognized this year is especially significant. As the group of bold law schools and their faculty that have joined our venture know well, the world is changing and it is not just legal practice but also legal education that needs to keep the pace."
Designed to inspire creative thinking in the legal profession, the InnovAction Awards are intended not only to identify effective innovation but also to inspire it through international recognition. The award will be presented to Professor DeStefano and Michael Bossone, Co-Creator of LawWithoutWalls™ and Special Advisor to the Dean, at the 2011 Futures Conference & Symposium in Chicago on October 28th.
In addition to Miami Law, the global law firm of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law were recipients of this year's award.
"Change agents never expect recognition for their efforts, but this award is meaningful because it is a public acknowledgment of the courage and boldness of the 80+ individuals who make up the LawWithoutWalls™ community," said Bossone. "They all agreed to step out of their comfort zones and take a chance in order to try to change our little corner of the world, and this award from the College of Law Practice Management is confirmation that together we're all headed in the right direction."