Innovation at NSU Law
NSU Helps Reshape the Future of Legal Education Through 7 Transformative Initiatives
The NSU Shepard Broad College of Law is part of the largest private Hispanic-serving university in the United States, with one of the most diverse student bodies, and a dedicated full-time faculty which includes our legal writing and clinical faculty. The College of Law remains an active supporter of SALT, SEALS, AALS, ELFA and other national and international organizations. Since its inception, NSU Law has also been at the forefront of innovation in legal education and legal service.
At the 2015 AALS Annual Meeting, AALS President Daniel Rodriguez moderated a panel, “Implementing Innovation in Law Schools,” which highlighted the significant innovations currently underway across legal education. As can be seen from the detailed list below, NSU Law has implemented strategies in each of the key areas. The panelists identified the following topics as subjects of innovation at law school:
• Experiential Education
• International Education
• Dual (Joint) Degree Programs
• Business and Technology Education
• Non-J.D. Education
• Incubator Programs and Post-J.D. Education
• Technology and Start-up Laboratory Programs
Based on the list prepared by AALS President Rodriguez, the following provides a brief status update for that area of innovation at NSU Law:
- NSU Law guarantees every student a live-client experience.
- NSU Law has recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation to its on-campus, live client legal clinic which serves Children and Families, Veterans, Environmental Law, and Dispute Resolution.
- NSU Law expanded its in-house clinical through a $1 million gift from the Taft Foundation to create an Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Legal Clinic.
- A comprehensive Field Placement program offers live-client experiences in civil, criminal, bankruptcy, and judicial practices.
- NSU Law offers nearly three dozen courses that meet the experiential learning requirement as simulation courses.
- J.D. students may earn dual degrees with European University of Barcelona, Spain; Roma Tre University, Rome Italy; or Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
- The programs in Spain and Italy are J.D. equivalent degrees while the program in the Czech Republic results in an LL.M. Students may also participate in semester exchange programs in Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic.
- NSU Law offers an accelerated J.D. program for lawyers with a first law degree from another country and comprehensive support from the law school’s International Students Office to support their transition to the U.S.
Dual (Joint) Degree Programs and Interdisciplinary Education
- J.D. students may earn dual degrees in such disciplines as Accounting, Business Administration, Computer and Information Science, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Osteopathic Medicine, Tax, Public Health, or through individualized plans.
- NSU Law has updated its academic regulations to simplify and accelerate dual degree opportunities with other NSU schools and colleges.
- NSU Law offers a 3+3 admissions program with the seven NSU undergraduate colleges.
Business and Technology Education
- NSU Law offers a specialized program focusing on the “business of lawyering,” with courses including Business Operations for Lawyers, Strategic Business Planning for Lawyers, and Law Practice Business and Technology Workshop. These courses along with courses in intellectual property, business, international law, and law office management enable NSU Law students to understand the complex and dynamic legal services industry which they have joined.
- Select partnerships with the NSU Health Professions Division and other schools encourage law faculty to provide non-curriculum lectures and offerings.
- Additional opportunities exist to provide non-curriculum lectures and offerings from these and other schools to law students and law alumni.
- NSU Law offers four online Master of Science degrees for non-lawyers. These are M.S. in Health Law, M.S. in Education Law, M.S. in Employment Law, and M.S. in Law and Policy.
- The newest concentration for M.S. students is in the area of Cybersecurity Law.
- The M.S. programs are heavily staffed by NSU Law full-time faculty, providing a robust legal and professional education to the working professionals seeking to expand their understanding of how law impacts their profession. The program has over 275 students enrolled.
Incubator Programs and Post-J.D. Education
- NSU Law operates Florida’s only post-J.D. incubator for recent graduates. Integrated with the NSU Law Veterans Clinic, Incubator participants receive professional space support, ongoing training on the launch and development of private law practice, and provide supervised pro bono services to the Veterans Clinic clients.
- The Law Center Plus program provides monthly, no-cost CLE offerings for recent graduates.
Technology and Start-up Laboratory Programs
- The NSU Center for Collaborative Research is a 215,000 square foot facility providing a home for translational research.
- NSU Law is a steering committee member for the Florida Patent Pro Bono Project.
As you can see from this list, NSU Law is not standing still. We remain deeply committed to scholarship, service, and the success of our students in the classroom and throughout their careers. The innovations at NSU Law are designed to anticipate the shifts in the delivery of legal services by better preparing graduates to provide more efficient and cost effective delivery of legal services, thereby expanding access to these services in both the domestic and international market.
1Speakers: Daniel B. Rodriguez, AALS President and Northwestern University School of Law; Martin J. Katz, University of Denver Sturm College of Law; Paul Lippe, Chief Executive Officer, OnRamp Systems, Moffett Field, CA; Michael J. Madison, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; and Kellye Y. Testy, University of Washington School of Law.
2This panel did not address pedagogical innovation and assessment, another key element of ongoing growth for NSU Law.
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