Online certificate in Legal Innovation and Tech for legal professionals

Suffolk University Law School has been offering practical training to its students in legal innovation and technology since 2013, teaching them new and exciting ways to deliver legal services. Now, that programming is available to legal professionals through an online certificate program.

The new certificate program, Legal Innovation and Technology for Legal Professionals, will be taught by industry leaders in areas like design thinking, lean thinking, process improvement, legal operations and project management. Lawyers and other legal professionals will learn how to revolutionize the delivery of legal services in law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, courts and legal aid offices.

Professor Gabe Teninbaum, who is the director of Suffolk’s Institute on Legal Innovation and Technology, said legal professionals should be thinking of new and better ways to deliver legal services to their clients.

“Every lawyer should have a basic groundwork in legal innovation and technology,” Teninbaum said. “This stuff makes traditional legal work more efficiently and effectively.”

For example, legal professionals knowledgeable in automated document assembly or process improvement can eliminate repetitive tasks, freeing them to do more work and maximize value for their clients. By eliminating repetition, processes that once took hours to complete could be accomplished in a matter of minutes.

Suffolk Law Dean Andrew Perlman said the certificate program will teach a “different kind of issue spotting” as well as the skills needed to modernize legal service delivery.

“When people are involved in delivering a certain legal service, I want them to look at the process and say, I think there is a better, faster and cheaper way to deliver this service than the way we are going about it, and I know that because I went through the certificate program,” Perlman said.

The certificate builds on the success of the law school’s J.D. curriculum in legal innovation. Perlman said that in conversations with practicing lawyers and legal leaders, they expressed a desire to learn the skills and principles that were being taught on campus. Whether their goal is to increase efficiencies or to reach more clients, Perlman said this certificate will give participants the tools to do so.

“That’s where the legal field is heading, and we want to help provide the necessary training,” he stated in a press release.

Courses will be offered online and taught by industry leaders such as Lucy Bassli, assistant general counsel of Microsoft. Bassli will be teaching Legal Operations, sharing the expertise she gained from running legal operations for one of the world’s largest companies.

“I genuinely believe that the legal industry is at a great inflection point,” Bassli said in a press release. “Our jobs will not look the same ten years from now. Technology advancements for legal services are ripe, and attorneys need to pay attention.”

Other courses include 21st Century Legal Profession, designed to provide a high –level view of legal innovation and technology. Students can also take Process Improvement and Legal Project Management, Design Thinking for Legal Professionals, 21st Century Legal Profession, Legal Technology Toolkit and The Business of Delivering Legal Services.

Each course will run for 10 to 12 weeks. Participants may take all six courses offered to earn a certificate, or enroll in the courses a la carte. Lessons can be completed asynchronously and can be completed on students’ own time.