Legal scholars, lawyers, data scientists and tech entrepreneurs are using machine learning, natural language processing, programming and high-performance computing to analyze legal documents in completely new ways. The demand for these skills is high. Students who are familiar with the tools of legal analytics can better prepare themselves for a lasting legal career with this certificate. The field of legal analytics uses computing power to analyze text from legal documents, treating words more like numerical data. Computer algorithms, combined with the knowledge of data scientists and lawyers, can provide insights about what happened in the past and what may happen in the future. We are living in a time of revolutionary change in the way that the law is studied and practiced.
The Legal Analytics Certificate is a methods certificate, designed to provide additional training for students to bring their research and reasoning skills to bear in an array of areas. For example, a student could use the Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative Certificate as a way to enhance their environmental law practice. This certificate promotes maximum flexibility in choosing between the 1.5, 2, and 3-credit options offered in the J.D. program and in the M.S.D.A. program.
What is Legal Analytics?
The field of legal analytics uses computing power to analyze text from legal documents, treating words more like numerical data. Computer algorithms, combined with the knowledge of data scientists and lawyers, can provide insights about what happened in the past and what may happen in the future.
Students pursuing a certificate in Legal Analytics have the opportunity to participate in a number of research, experiential learning and extracurricular activities.
- Research: The Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative also works with external partners in the legal community to put legal analytics advances into practice, develop new learning opportunities and share cutting-edge research insights.
- Hands-on Learning: Students can take part in workshops and training sessions hosted at the College of Law or Robinson College of Business. There are also opportunities to work with clients, serve as a graduate research assistant and pursue summer internship placements at firms that are using this technology.
- Legal Analytics Lab: In the Legal Analytics Lab at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business Institute for Insight, faculty, students and corporate partners use the tools of big data analytics to produce original research.
- Students learn to identify patterns, using big data analytics, including text mining, machine learning, image analysis and other methodologies to produce research. They unlock insights from thousands of pages of text, using computational techniques.
- They work with faculty, law firms and companies to help organizations examine predictive results from volumes of documents and other data.
- Quantify type and frequency of case outcomes to predict future outcomes.
- Students examine analytics tools to leverage emerging technologies in law practices as informed consumers and competent technology partners.
Students must be in good academic standing, based on the successful completion of the first full year of law study (30 hours), to participate in the certificate program. Students must remain in good standing to continue program participation.
Required Courses (9 credit hours)
- Students take 9 credits of required legal analytics courses (including 6 hours of experiential courses)
- LAW 7674 Legal Analytics I (3 credits)
- LAW 7675E/MSA 8350 Legal Analytics II (3 credits, experiential)
- LAW 7676E Applied Legal Analytics Lab (3 credits, experiential)
- Required MSDA Course (1.5-3 credit hours)
- Students take at least one course in the Robinson College of Business M.S. in Data Science and Analytics program to deepen their analytical skills and to learn to work in an interdisciplinary environment.
- LAW 7139 – e-Discovery
- LAW 7137 – Cyberlaw
- LAW 7138 – Computers and the Law Seminar
- LAW 7293 – Seminar on Judicial Power (Corpus Linguistics)
- LAW 7355 – Law and Emerging Technologies
- LAW 7356 – Legal Tech. Competency & Operations
- LAW 7366 – Legal Innovation
- LAW 7629 – Blockchain, Smart Contracts & the Law
- Additional approved analytics and innovation electives
Legal analytics is a new and growing field. The list of eligible electives for students will be updated as new courses are developed or existing courses are dropped or changed and the LAII reserves the right to change the list of courses if required.
- Students must complete a substantial writing project on a Legal Analytics & Innovation topic, which may also be used to satisfy the College of Law’s writing requirement
- Students are encouraged to participate in legal analytics extracurricular activities such as:
- workshops and boot camp training sessions hosted at the College of Law or Robinson College of Business,
- participate in additional client-focused data projects (“sprints”),
- work with affiliated faculty as a GRA,
- and pursue internship placements as they become available
Grades and Honors
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required across all courses taken in satisfaction of the certificate requirements, including the writing requirement.
- Honors will be awarded for achievement of a GPA of 3.6 or higher in all Legal Analytics & Innovation courses taken for the certificate.
To graduate with a certificate, students must submit a Verification for Certificate in Legal Analytics for review no later than the end of the drop/add period of a student’s last semester prior to graduation. The form must be signed by the student’s academic advisor.
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