Technological, Economic and Business Forces Transforming the Private Practice of Law (6005): The private practice of law has and will continue to undergo fundamental change. Technological, economic and business forces are placing extreme pressure on not only the traditional "Big Law" firm model but also role of in-house counsel. These forces will transform, eliminate or replace virtually every aspect of the current practices of firms and in-house legal departments. Foundations of the law firm model such as bespoke client services, "billable" hours, large staffs (e.g., paralegals and secretaries), high associate-to-partner ratios and summer associate programs are becoming (or have already become) relics of a bygone era. Sophisticated clients today are utilizing a wide range of internal and external service providers and technologies such as artificial intelligence for their legal work. This diversity in the delivery of legal services is dramatically altering the supply and demand characteristics of the legal economy and markets. The breadth of available technologies and options is altering the types of skills and prerequisites required for attorneys to be successful private practice. The course is composed of two parts. In part one, the course focuses on the technological, economic and business practices transforming the legal profession are identified and their impact on the traditional approaches to law will be examined. In part two, the course focuses on how individual lawyers can adapt to or embrace the forces transforming law to improve their practice and succeed in the new environment. Part two of the course will also examine how the changing legal environment creates new ethical and professional challenges for attorneys. Elements used in grading: Attendance, class participation and a research paper for the written assignment.
2020-2021 SpringSchedule No Longer Available