LawWithoutWalls Kicks Off in Switzerland; Plus Expands with All-Virtual Model "LWOW X"


Professor Michele DeStefanoFifty students from 26 law and business schools around the world, along with professors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, regulators, and other professionals, will gather on January 18-19 at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland for the fourth annual LawWithoutWalls kick-off. LawWithoutWalls was founded at Miami Law by Professor Michele DeStefano with the aim of developing innovations in the education of future lawyers and the practice of law.

This year, Miami Law will also launch LWOW X, an entirely virtual version of LawWithoutWalls. LWOW X is a revolutionary pilot designed to hone global teamwork, cultural competency, project management, technology, leadership, and innovation skills among students, schools, and partners worldwide in a cost-efficient manner.

Over a three-month period, 21 students from seven schools, including Miami Law, University of Montreal, University College London, IE University, the Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID), the University of East London, and École HEAD, will participate in this new, virtual offering from LawWithoutWalls. LWOW X will kick-off on January 25 and 26, and will be held in real time using Adobe Connect to enable personal interaction between participants across a wide geographic network.

In both models, students and mentors are placed into teams, with the goal of developing business solutions to problems in legal education or practice.

"LawWithoutWalls is designed to break down the walls that exist between education and practice, academics and lawyers, students and professors," said Professor DeStefano. "It connects institutions and people from around the world to collaboratively problem solve law’s biggest problems. In the process, LawWithoutWalls develops professional service providers to meet the demands of the 21st century."

In both LWOW and LWOW X, students work in geographically and culturally diverse teams. Each team, comprised of 2-3 students and several mentors, is assigned a broad topic within legal education or practice. Together, the teams conduct research, identify a problem or gap within their assigned topic, and develop a solution. Additionally, students and other community members attend weekly Virtual Thought Leader Sessions, which include real-time presentations with multidisciplinary thought leaders from around the world, allowing the entire community to engage in debate about current issues at the intersection of law, business, technology, and innovation.

In late March, participants of LWOW X will gather for the virtual ConPosium. During this two-day event, student teams will present their final projects to a panel of judges comprised of a lawyer, an entrepreneur, an academic, and a venture capitalist. The winning team will be invited to present their project at the LawWithoutWalls in-person Conposium held at the University of Miami in April.

Since its inception in 2011, LawWithoutWalls has drawn a considerable amount of attention for its groundbreaking approach to legal education, combining state-of-the-art technology with expertise and innovation to undertake a far-reaching exploration of the future of the legal field.