In the “Best Schools for Legal Technology” in Pre-Law Magazine’s fall 2018 edition, University of Miami School of law ranked 9th among all 200 ABA-accredited law schools in the United States.
The article specifically looks at 30 law schools at the forefront of building curricula with a focus on technology. Miami Law made the list based on criteria including breadth of offerings, clinic or certificate in the area, and the existence of a legal technology journal or student group.
“We are honored that our efforts in this area are being recognized. We take great pride in our innovative mindset. And we’re excited to continue leading the way for law schools around the world that know it’s time for new approaches to legal education,” says Professor Andres Sawicki.
New Concentration in Business Innovation Technology - BILT
Miami Law has gone beyond the traditional intellectual property classes like Trademark, Copy and Patent to offer law students the option to concentrate their studies in The Business of Innovation, Law and Technology.
Sawicki, also the faculty coordinator of the BILT Concentration, adds, “The BILT concept is to prepare students for careers at the intersection of law, business, and technology. BILT faculty also advise students so that their course selection can be tailored to suit different niches, ranging from advising mature tech-focused firms to creating their own entrepreneurial ventures.”
Hands-On Tech Experience - Startup Practicum
In addition to the academic, Miami Law students get hands-on experience in technology in the Startup Law Practicum. Overseen by Dan Ravicher, students hone skills providing legal advice to early-stage entrepreneurs across a host of industries.
It is also one of only twenty-six such law school practicums in the nation, and the only one in the state of Florida, to receive formal certification for both trademarks and patents from The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Faculty with Breadth of Experience in Law + Technology
Miami Law faculty has developed an innovative set of educational experiences for students in the area of law and technology. For example, Michael Froomkin is one of the creators of the field of Internet Law; Mary Anne Franks has led a nationwide legislative campaign to combat online harassment in her Cyber Civil Rights Initiative; and Michele DeStefano’s LawWithoutWalls course gives students an opportunity to launch innovative legal industry ventures with collaborators from the most prestigious universities in the world.
Innovative Electives in Technology
Miami Law’s course offerings have kept pace with developments. With the implementation of innovative short courses, the law school is able to nimbly offer courses on the latest technology and how it impacts the practice of law.
Some examples of courses include: “Big Data for Lawyers,” “Introduction to Programming for Lawyers,” “Blockchain Technology and Business Strategies,” “Fake News: Media Law in the Age of Trump,” and “Database Management Systems for Lawyers.”
Professor Froomkin is also the founder of the WeRobot Conference - the seminal conference on legal policy issues relating to robotics.
The conference started at the University of Miami Law in 2012 and has also been held at Stanford Law, Yale Law, and University of Washington Law. The field is changing so rapidly this unique gathering only stays about five years ahead of the curve. Says Froomkin, “Five years ago we were talking about what happens when an autonomous car hits a pedestrian, and unfortunately that happened this year, and last year’s conference we were talking about the difficulties people are going to have working along with robots.”
WeRobot returns again to Miami Law next year when it takes place April 11-13, 2019.
Also Ranked Top School for Business Law
In the same Pre-Law Magazine fall 2018 edition, Miami Law also received an ‘A’ raking in the “TOP LAW SCHOOLS: Business Law.” Noted law schools in the article offered specialty institutes, clinics, and unique externships.
On the clinic side, Miami Law offers the Eleanor R. Cristol and Judge A. Jay Cristol Bankruptcy Pro Bono Assistance Clinic and the Investor Rights Clinic which just hit the milestone of $1 million in recoveries for its clients.
Miami Law is also the only school to be part of the South Florida Group of Regional Counsel (now named Juncadella Corporate Counsel Group, JCCG) which is made up of more than 300 members from 250 multinational companies. Access to this group of in-house counsels either based in South Florida or who do work primarily related to the Latin America and Caribbean region gives students unique opportunities for networking and contacts for externships.
Also, Miami Law’s Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is the largest and most respected continuing education program for estate planners today.
Professor Sawicki is not surprised at the recognition, “Miami Law is one of the few institutions that prepare students to succeed not only in the professional world they’ll face upon graduation, but for the inevitable changes that will occur over the course of their careers. “