Legal innovation is a buzzword these days. Law firms, lawyers, and in-house departments are using technology, data, process, and talent to provide clients with innovative, cost-effective solutions. While there is no clear definition of legal innovation, it includes a combination of things that will benefit all stakeholders. Here are three examples of legal innovation at work in South Carolina.
This fall, South Carolina Law students broke school records in both the Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions. Some Seton Hall Law students also achieved high placements in Moot Court competitions. Many of these students started new student organizations or became prominent leaders on the School of Law’s Law Review.
The City Bar Justice Center has a new internship program focusing on social justice and hands-on involvement with local clients. Ten talented students participated in the program. During the program, students volunteered at a local soup kitchen, wrote for a nonprofit, and provided legal services. In addition, students visited detainees at the border and wrote for the Incarcerated Persons Workforce Re-Entry program.
Law companies, like UnitedLex, use technological, strategic, and legal expertise to provide cost-effective solutions for non-regulated legal activities. These firms are emblematic of legal innovation. It is important to note that while law companies are innovative, they are not monopolies. As such, they have not yet gained a significant amount of market share. However, they have laid the groundwork for scalable alternatives to law firms.
Seton Hall Law’s Institute for Privacy Protection will convene experts to address kids’ excessive use of technology. A new program will be introduced for fifth and sixth graders. Another new program will focus on children’s education and health.
Professors are highlighting their accomplishments. This year, four professors have begun writing books on topics that will be relevant in 2020. Before the end of the academic year, Professors Thomas Crocker, Paula Franzese, Susan Provenzano, and I.S. Leevy Johnson ’68 have already published articles on RBG, Overcoming Necessity, and the urban/rural divide. They also have co-authored an article in The Conversation on the growing problem of cybersecurity.
For decades, the reputation of legal providers was largely dependent on a firm’s pedigree and reputation. Today, however, the reputation of legal service providers no longer depends on a firm’s brand or pedigree. Instead, consumers and clients are asking ‘who has the expertise?’ and ‘who has the scalability?’ When choosing a legal provider, consumers and clients vote with their pocketbooks.
With an ever-changing global landscape, law is becoming a new way to practice. The NYU School of Law’s Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship is a leader in this field. Based in the Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, the Grunin Center aims to advance a global movement for positive change.
Another law school innovation is the Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business. By capitalizing on the dynamic schools at New York University, the program places students at the forefront of convergence. Using New York’s location as the financial center of the world, the program provides students with an educational experience that is both globally connected and locally focused.