In case you missed it, the ABA Journal recently ran a fascinating article on the collaborative academic model LawWithoutWalls (LWW) created by Michele DeStefano and Michael Bossone at the University of Miami School of Law. LWW is an international, multi-disciplinary project that brings together students, faculty, practitioners, business professionals, and entrepreneurs from around the country and the world to reimagine legal education and practice. During the course of a semester students are formed into teams and tasked with identifying a problem in legal education or practice. Working with mentors, each team develops a “Project of Worth” designed to solve the team’s identified problem. Projects range from improving third-party litigation funding to making Shari’ah-compliant finance more accessible in the U.S.
I found the article a welcome ray of light that pierced through the gloomy legal news cycles of late. Rather than simply bemoaning the problems facing our profession, LWW seeks to engage and reshape it. To be sure, Projects of Worth face the same obstacles to success as any other innovation. But by instilling in future lawyers the multidisciplinary, international, technological and entrepreneurial perspectives needed to navigate our ever-evolving profession, LWW appears to be itself a Project of Worth.