University of Miami School of Law

Miami Law provides an innovative legal education that encourages our students to think deeply about the impact that globalization, technology, and a growing blend of interdisciplinary fields will have on their careers.  Below are some examples of the programs recently launched at Miami Law with this focus. 

LawWithoutWallsTM (LWOW) is a part-virtual, collaborative academic model created at Miami Law that brings together students, faculty, practitioners, and entrepreneurs from around the world to create innovation in legal education and practice and to realize the impact our changing world is having upon our shared legal enterprise. Students from around the world are teamed up to identify a problem in legal education or practice and to develop a Project of Worth that creatively solves their identified issue.  Student teams are virtually guided by an academic mentor, a practitioner mentor, an entrepreneur advisory board, and a subject expert board. LWOW kicks off outside of the United States each January at one of the participating schools and culminates with a ConPosium at Miami Law each April where students present their Projects of Worth alongside leading academics and practitioners. 

The Idea of the Hospital: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry is a unique all-university course for graduate students.  It gives students the opportunity to examine the complexity of the hospital form and the multiple perspectives within which we view, think, and work in hospitals. The course synergizes the resources of six graduate schools: Law; Architecture; Business Administration; Miller School of Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health; Nursing; and the College of Engineering.  In total, approximately 40 graduate students and 20 faculty members participated in the course’s spring offerings in 2011 and 2012.  Students study topics, such as: the President’s and Health Care Reform, which was the 2012 kickoff lecture taught by President Shalala; Patient Safety and Architecture; Ethics in Emergency Situations; and, Hospital Taxation and Financing.  

The Health Rights Clinic is a nationally-recognized Medical-Legal Partnership with the UM Miller School of Medicine. The Health Rights Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinical course in which law and medical students assist low-income, health-impaired clients under the supervision of the program’s faculty, including Clinical Professor JoNel Newman and Clinic Associate Director Melissa Swain and medical faculty. The Clinic fosters collaborative team-based work to identify, assess and treat the medical and legal needs of patient-clients in an innovative setting involving medicine, psychiatry, law, nursing and social work. The interdisciplinary collaboration between the schools has now grown into a joint clinic and clinical rotation offering for medical students. Beyond the clinical offering, the Health Rights Clinic offers a four-year pathway of emphasis, or area of scholarly concentration, for medical students interested in health law. The Clinic has successfully used the interdisciplinary nature of its work as a platform for teaching and engaging students in the creation of professional identity through constantly measuring and comparing their professional values against those of another profession. Law and medical students come away from the experience understanding their own profession better and feeling more confident in adopting ethical professional norms.