Coursework

In addition to the traditional law school curriculum, I have taken or am currently enrolled in courses that focus on entrepreneurship, technology, analysis, and process:

E-Discovery

This course teaches students the law, theory, and practice of discovery of electronically stored documents and information. The course covers both the federal and Michigan state law governing the production of electronic documents, privilege, motions to compel, and protective orders—as well as the applicable professional standards. Students will be provided a theoretical understanding of the dominant computer algorithmic techniques used in e-discovery (search terms and predictive coding) as well as the legal, ethical, and technological problems each presents. This classes emphasizes hands-on work with e-discovery software, including Concordance, Clustify, and Backstop.

Litigation: Data, Theory, Practice, Process 

The primary goal of this class is for students to learn how to leverage data, theory, and process to obtain better results in litigation. Students will explore sources of data and the use of decision theory, game theory, and economic analysis to evaluate claims, predict outcomes, and improve litigation strategies. The litigation process will be deconstructed beyond the mechanics of procedural rules and into the specific tasks lawyers must perform. Deconstructing the litigation process allows lawyers to properly staff matters, complete tasks more efficiently, and demonstrate the marginal return on investment for each task. Students will also learn a number of practical skills necessary to be an effective litigator. Among the topics addressed are early case assessment, client counseling, settlement negotiations, drafting persuasive pleadings and motions, managing discovery, persuading the fact finder, managing litigation projects, budgeting, and developing effective value-added litigation strategies.

Quantitative Analysis

This is an applied course designed to introduce student to various modes of quantitative thinking. The goals of this course are (1) to prepare students to be knowledgeable consumers of quantitative information as practicing lawyers and (2) to prepare students for technology infused law practice of the 21st Century. Course modules include (a) research design, (b) statistics in the courtroom, (c) introduction to probability and basic statistics, (d) data distributions, (e) statistical tests (f) regression analysis, (g) quantitative legal prediction and (h) a brief introduction to legal automation and the technology infused law practice of the present (and not so distant future).

Legal Analytics

This course is designed to train students to efficiently manage, collect, explore and analyze various forms of legal data. Its purpose is to imbue students with the capability to: (1) understand the process of extracting knowledge from data with specific applications to domains such as legal prediction; (2) distinguish themselves in legal proceedings involving data or analysis; (3) distinguish themselves in firm management matters; (4) understand and communicate with information and software sector clients; and (5) use data to manage outside resources such as LPO or eDiscovery providers. Students will be introduced to sophisticated statistical techniques including machine learning and natural language processing.

Project Management, Michigan State University Broad College of Business

Management of information systems projects.  Modeling of business processes. Management of project scope, time, and costs. Planning and control of projects. Program and portfolio management. Consulting issues for effective project management.

Entrepreneurial Lawyering

This course helps students understand the economic pressures, technological changes, and globalization facing the legal profession in the 21st century, and to assist students in successfully navigating their legal career given these challenges. The course explores the concept of a virtual law practice as well as the use of technology and cloud-computing in building a law practice; free and low-cost resources and tools will be shared that will help the entrepreneur-minded student identify ways to leverage leading-edge technology to defray start-up costs associated with launching a practice and to control overhead. Ethics, licensing, and malpractice issues will also be discussed. The course will be particularly useful for students who are contemplating solo practice, consulting, or engaging in an entrepreneurial venture, as well as those who are considering non-traditional uses for their law degree. Other topics to be covered include client development and networking, case studies of innovative legal services delivery mechanisms and alternative business structures, and work/life balance including the study of emotional intelligence and mindful lawyering practices. This course assumes students may (or may not) arrive with a range of experience in the use of technology—we will provide training for everything needed to succeed in this course.

Technology Enhanced Trial Advocacy

The course provides full exposure and training on Trial Director software, and use and application of the software on the MSU College of Law courtroom technology platform. This technology platform is the template being used by the Federal Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and by other Federal and State jurisdictions on an increasing basis as courtroom technology is installed and implemented throughout the country.

For more information on these and other classes offered through the Michigan State University College of Law, please click here.

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3 thoughts on “Coursework

  1. Pingback: Open Source E-Discovery and Document Management | Patrick Ellis

  2. Pingback: A Fatal eDiscovery Error | Patrick Ellis

  3. Pingback: Coding Advocacy: Visualizing Supreme Court Arguments and Formality | Patrick Ellis

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