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Prepare to Practice

Prepare to Practice, an annual lecture and workshop series sponsored by the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library at Vanderbilt Law School, prepares students for the professional challenges of legal practice by highlighting and discussing the latest trends and hot topics in legal practice.

2018 Prepare to Practice Schedule

The 2018 program has been announced:

Monday, March 12: Bianca White -  Lexis Next Gen Legal Research Tools, 12:10 p.m., Covington Room

Bianca White will showcase the Next Gen Research tools that are offered through Lexis Nexis to law firms, judges, and non-profit and government agencies. Students will have an opportunity to get a sneak peek at tools that will be available to use in practice.

Wednesday, March 21: Professor JB Ruhl: Program on Law and Innovation -  Next Gen Legal Research.
12:10 p.m., Ray Room

Lawyers entering the field in 2018 are going to witness massive changes in the ways technology is used to conduct legal research and prepare for litigation.

Prof. Ruhl will provide insight into what next gen technologies are on the market, how they are being used in firms, and how these changes will affect the future of law practice.

Monday, March 26: Rebecca Domm, Research Librarian, Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.- Firm Librarians, The Ace Up Your Research Sleeve.  12:10 p.m., Covington Room

All students are encouraged to learn the value of law firm librarians and the ways that librarians can mentor summer associates and new attorneys in the profession. Rebecca Domm will discuss the value of effective and efficient legal research and will share insights about maximizing the resources that are your librarians.

Tuesday April 10: Cat Moon, Adjunct Professor of Law Founder and Legal Counsel, Ledger Law. 12:10 p.m., Covington Room.

Join Cat Moon, VLS aluma and adjunct professor in the Program on Law and Innovation, for an insider's look into the technology all law students need to be prepared to practice. 

Speaker Bios:

Bianca White is the Lexis representative at University of Tennessee Law School and Vanderbilt Law School. She received her B.A. in History from Freed-Hardeman University in 2006, her J.D. from the University of Memphis in 2009 and her M.B.A. from Bryan College in 2015. While in law school she volunteered with the Memphis Area Legal Services and clerked for one year doing criminal defense work. Ms. White practiced primarily labor and employment defense work at a Knoxville firm until she joined Lexis in 2011.

J. B. Ruhl is an expert in environmental, natural resources and property law, and also studies the legal industry and legal technology. He was named director of Vanderbilt's Program on Law and Innovation in 2014 and serves as the Co-director of the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program.  Before he joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty as the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law in 2011, he was the Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property at the Florida State University College of Law, where he had taught since 1999. His influential scholarly articles relating to climate change, the Endangered Species Act, ecosystems, governance, and other environmental and natural resources law issues have appeared in the California, Duke, Georgetown, Stanford and Vanderbilt law reviews, the environmental law journals at several top law schools and peer-reviewed scientific journals. His works have been selected by peers as among the best law review articles in the field of environmental law nine times from 1989 to 2014. Over the course of his career, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, George Washington University Law School, the University of Texas Law School, Vermont Law School, and Lewis and Clark College of Law. He began his academic career at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he taught from 1994 to 1999 and earned his Ph.D. in geography. Before entering the academy, he was a partner with Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Austin, Texas, where he also taught on the adjunct faculty of the University of Texas School of Law.

Rebecca Domm is a Research Librarian for Bass, Berry & Sims where she conducts research for attorneys and staff. Ms. Domm has been working in libraries for over 10 years. She is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries, where she currently serves on the Funding Research Opportunities Grant Committee.

Cat Moon works with law firms, legal departments, and law schools across the U.S. to bring a human-centered design perspective to firms and legal services companies as they re-imagine the delivery of legal services and education. An expert in blockchain, she founded Ledger.Law, a consultancy providing companies and law firms with counsel on blockchain related to regulation, policy, and legal structure. As a co-founder, chief operating officer and chief design officer of Legal Alignment, Professor Moon manages the operations and user-centered design of DASH, a proprietary, cloud-based legal workflow platform that employs artificial intelligence and provides consulting and training to lawyers, firms and legal departments. Before forming Ledger.Law and Legal Alignment, Professor Moon provided legal counsel and strategic guidance to start-up companies through her own firm, C.Moon Law, and through the Harpeth Law Group. She began her career with Dodson Parker Dinkins & Behm, where she practiced property and employment law, and focused on property law and transactions at Hale and Hale before focusing on advising start-ups. Professor Moon is a co-organizer of the Music City Legal Hackathon, sponsored by the Program on Law & Innovation, which brings together legal professionals, technologists, designers and other professionals to create technology solutions to meet the needs of nonprofit legal service organizations. She co-organized and was the keynote speaker of Blockchain and the Law, a conference sponsored by the Program on Law & Innovation. At Vanderbilt, she teaches Legal Design and Problem Solving.


The inaugural series, held in March 2014, focused on Professionalism, Ethics and Practical Legal Research Skills. The 2015 program, held in April 2015, focused on Mentoring and Collaboration in Legal Practice. Prepare to Practice is developed and sponsored by the Vanderbilt Alyne Queener Massey Law Library.

Questions?  Contact: Deborah Schander