Texas A&M University School of Law will launch an online graduate curricula in Wealth Management and Risk Management, both developed as an important part of the public university's mission of training practice-ready professionals and preparing them for career success.
Delivered completely online and enrolling for May 2017, these curricula meet the increasing need of professionals to be versed in the legal aspects of financial transactions, financial literacy, risk, and compliance management. Lawyers and non-lawyers alike will take a deep dive into the intricacies of managing wealth or risk, critical in a rapidly evolving workplace climate. At the conclusion of the curricula, students will receive either an LL.M. or M. Jur. degree.
"Our ultimate goal is to enable professional and graduate students to completely confront the complexities of modern wealth management and risk management, and to propel them for successful careers as well as for independent, lifelong learning," said Executive Professor and Associate Dean William Byrnes, who helped conceptualize both curricula and will teach in the program.
Byrnes pioneered online legal education 20 years ago, and is credited with creating the first online LL.M. offered by an ABA accredited law school.
Courses are taught asynchronously online. Enrolled students log in and participate in course lectures and assignments on their own schedule, which provides flexibility for those with competing professional and personal obligations.
Byrnes emphasizes that the asynchronous format is "Not like binge-watching TV." Instead, assignments are conducted on a weekly basis, and students participate via discussion questions, online assessments, group project work, and interactions with professors during virtual office hours. Byrnes also cites the diverse work experience of the students in the program, from asset managers and risk and compliance officers to athlete representatives and global wealth managers.
Each takes approximately six semesters to complete; students also have the option of visiting the law school campus to accept their diploma as well as the coveted "Aggie Ring."
The caliber and quality of the instructors is another differentiator. Some of the most well-known experts in the field, such as Bruce Zagaris, George Mentz, and Robert Bloink, join with law professors, business leaders, and leading practitioners to deliver the content.
"Our goal is to provide an outstanding legal education for a nationally-based, diverse student body in a collegial and supportive environment," says Professor Bloink. "Our attention is focused on newly emerging areas of law, particularly those related to technological development and globalization."