The first course, Legal Project Management, will be offered Feb. 7-8 at Owen Graduate School of Management. Other courses, rolled out over the next two years, will emphasize innovation, evolving legal technologies and entrepreneurial strategies in addition to fundamental leadership skills.
Attorneys and legal operations managers who take Vanderbilt’s Legal Project Management CLE class will learn how to apply fundamental project management skills to their individual caseloads at their firms or corporate legal departments. “Law firms and legal departments are facing a very competitive environment. This two-day course teaches lawyers and professional legal practice managers how to apply proven project management and budgeting techniques to improve their workflow and financial performance and streamline their operations,” said instructor Larry Bridgesmith.
Bridgesmith, an experienced labor and employment attorney who teaches Vanderbilt Law School’s Legal Project Management course, designed and developed the new CLE course in conjunction with project management expert Nancy Lea Hyer, an associate dean and professor of operations management at Owen. Hyer and Bridgesmith also drew on the expertise of faculty from Vanderbilt’s Program on Law and Innovation and Owen’s Executive Development Institute as well as the course’s third instructor, John Murdock ’81, a corporate law partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings who has guided his firm through the process of employing legal technology to improve the quality of its legal work as well as the efficiency of its operations.
Vanderbilt Law School Dean Chris Guthrie points to the natural synergies between the law school’s Program on Law and Innovation, launched in 2015 to develop classes that prepare students to meet the challenges of twenty-first-century legal practice, and Owen’s Executive Development Institute, which has delivered continuing education to business, finance and accounting professionals for 15 years. “I’m excited about this collaboration with Owen because it allows us to launch an innovative new CLE program within a well-established infrastructure,” Guthrie said. “Our Program on Law and Innovation’s emphasis on project management skills, innovation through the use of new legal technologies and new law firm business models offers a wealth of material that we are adapting to create and deliver continuing legal education courses with the help of Owen’s experienced team.”
Bridgesmith is currently working with the Owen team to develop additional courses and promote the new program. “Our first course packs an incredible amount into two short days,” he said. “Any attorney or legal business manager will build skills and gain new perspectives on legal practice by attending this program.”
Owen’s Executive Management Institute also offers continuing education programs for executives, managers and companies seeking professional development.