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    Your compass for navigating and accelerating

    innovation in the law.


  • We knew before March 2020 that the legal landscape is changing. RADICALLY and RAPIDLY. The global impact of the COVID pandemic has simply ramped up the speed, exponentially.

    As we emerge from REACTIVE mode, those organizations and individuals who thrive will have one thing in common: a PROACTIVE, strategic approach to LEVERAGE CHANGE. With AGILITY and dynamism.

    Is your organization prepared to navigate the uncharted territory the legal profession — and clients — continue to face? Do you have practical tools in your toolbox to embrace and make change that creates value in this new landscape?

    For many, the answer to these questions continues to be a resounding NO. This is why we've created the NewLaw Accelerator, designed to fast-track training for rising leaders in legal innovation.

    The PoLI Institute at Vanderbilt Law's original mission was to create an immersive learning experience with a focused mission to provide a compass for navigating legal innovation. We do this by teaching both the theory and practical skills required to thrive in the evolving legal landscape. And connecting you directly to a cohort of legal professionals who are making real change happen across the legal industry.


    Announcing the NewLaw Accelerator!

    With the NewLawAcclerator program, we're focusing on fast-tracking training in the areas most fundamental to innovation in this liminal period, as we emerge from a global pandemic into whatever comes next. NewLaw Accelerator immersions will be offered virtually, with a combination of asynchronous work and synchronous facilitated, collaborative cohort sessions. Enrollment is limited to create conditions for synergy and dialogue among a max of 12 participants per session.


    About the PoLI Institute. The PoLI Institute represents a natural evolution of Vanderbilt Law's Program on Law and Innovation (PoLI), launched in 2015 under the leadership and vision of Dean Chris Guthrie. PoLI's mission is to equip Vanderbilt students with the modern skills and tools to navigate an ever-rapidly changing legal landscape — and position them to lead this change.


    With the NewLaw Accelerator at the PoLI Institute, we're expanding the scope of the PoLI curriculum and bringing it to practicing legal professionals.

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    Enroll in the NewLaw Accelerator!

    Open soon for registration: Process Design + Improvement for NewLaw

    March 28 and April 4, 2022 :: Virtual


    Process design and continuous process improvement are core NewLaw competencies. Regardless of your role or your organization's size, this immersion delivers core process design and improvement skills to empower delivery of high-impact results. Completion of the immersion also qualifies you for certification as a Legal Process Improvement Professional via the Institute of Legal Project Management, the only certification program of its kind recognized globally.

  • Human-Centered Design for Law :: Immersion

    Add details: overview, content, learning outcomes, deliverables, dates, location, cost.

  • PoLI Talk

    Commonly asked tidbits, aka FAQs.

    Yes, "innovation" is a buzzword in legal. So how does the PoLI Institute define "legal innovation"?

    We have a very simple approach: innovation is change that creates value. Legal innovation is change that creates value within the legal landscape. Innovation is like water — it can redefine a landscape in small, incremental ways, much as water dripping on a stone will eventually wear away the surface, permanently changing it. Innovation also can happen quickly, with substantial impact, much as the floods following a hurricane can completely redefine the banks of tributaries flowing from the sea. Our curriculum embraces innovation from tiny and slow to broad and bold and delivers methods and tools to implement change that creates value across a spectrum of impact. We empower the lone wolf working within a large organization and the Chief Innovation Officer charged with leading change initiatives.

    How do I register for a PoLI Institute Immersion?

    Online registration is handled through Vanderbilt's IRIS system, which you can access from all Immersive listings currently open for registration. Payment online may be made securely by credit card. For any questions about registration and payment, please contact Cat Moon at c.moon@vanderbilt.edu or 615-322-6591. To register for Immersions currently open, go HERE.

    Does the Institute assist with travel, lodging, and parking?

    Immersion tuition covers all curriculum costs related to the weekend session, including breakfast, lunch, and a pre-dinner event on Friday evening. All travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of Institute students. We request discounted rates from hotels close to Vanderbilt and provide this information upon registration. Parking is available for $12/day in the 25th Avenue Garage directly across the street from the Wond'ry.

    How is the PoLI Institute Curriculum structured?

    The Institute's curriculum consists of independent Immersion experiences, which are live (in-person) learning events that take place over a two-day (weekend) period at the Wond'ry on the Vanderbilt campus. Each Immersion is an independent learning opportunity, which means that you can attend a single Immersion or multiple Immersions based on your interest. We are in the process of creating a Certificate in Law and Innovation, which we anticipate will be earned through attending a minimum number of Immersions over a set course of time. See the following query for more information about the Certificate Program.

    What is the Certificate in Law and Innovation? When will the PoLI Institute offer this?

    Currently in the development phase, the Institute intends to launch a Certificate in Law and Innovation by the Fall of 2019. The program will offer students who take a minimum number of Immersion courses within a set time period the ability to earn a certificate acknowledging the level of achievement in innovation learning. The Institute intends to give retroactive credit for any Immersion course taken before the official launch of the certificate program.

    Is the PoLI Institute curriculum available in a virtual (online) format?

    We have designed the Immersion curriculum exclusively as in-person in large part because the content depends on synchronous engagement with a learning cohort. Pedagogically, the in-person experience offers the most valuable learning opportunity. It is very hard to recreate the level of collaborative experience and interactive engagement we deem necessary in an asynchronous, virtual delivery system. With this said, we are actively engaged in building components within a learning management system (LMS) that allows us to deliver some aspects of Institute curriculum virtually to reach people who simply can't attend a live Immersion at Vanderbilt. Please stay tuned! And if you're interested in a future virtual curriculum, please let Cat Moon know at c.moon@vanderbilt.edu.

    What is the cost for a PoLI Institute Immersion?

    The tuition for each weekend (2-day) Immersion session is $2200. Starting in 2019, the Institute will offer a limited number of Fellowships which provide a tuition-free Immersion experience. To learn more, go here.

    Why does the PoLI Institute use the word "immersion" to describe the curriculum?

    Defined as "deep mental involvement," immersion perfectly captures our approach to teaching legal professionals about innovation. It also means the act of immersing in — and in this instance, it's an immersion in a process and community focused intently on the topic at hand: leading legal innovation. Our format and terminology also is inspired by Immersion Vanderbilt, a new part of the undergraduate Vanderbilt experience: "a deeper, more complex education that integrates classroom knowledge with experience."

    What is the PoLI Forum?

    A critical component of deeper learning is the opportunity to meaningfully reflect on and apply what you've learned. A community of fellow learners can help support and facilitate this process, which is why we're creating a virtual community for all PoLI Institute students: the PoLI Forum. Through a cloud-based platform, students will have the opportunity to interact with one another and Institute faculty in this virtual space. We'll also use the Forum to share information and ideas that build on Immersion content and support your efforts to navigate legal innovation.

    I have questions about the PoLI Institute not answered here. How do I get answers?

    We welcome your questions! Please contact Cat Moon, Director of Innovation Design for PoLI, at c.moon@vanderbilt.edu or 615-322-6591.

  • The PoLI Institute Fellowship Program


    What is the PoLI Institute Fellowship Program?

    Embedded in the Institute's mission is the vision for all parts of the legal profession to move forward through meaningful and intentional innovation. To open greater access to Immersion courses, we offer Fellowship opportunities that provide tuition-free attendance. Launching in 2019, we anticipate offering up to two Fellowships for each Immersion. Fellows will be selected through a simple application process by PoLI faculty.


    Please note at this time that the Fellowship covers Immersion tuition only; individuals are responsible for any ancillary expenses, including travel and accommodations.

    How do I apply?

    If you are interested in learning more about the Fellowship Program, please contact Cat Moon at c.moon@vanderbilt.edu or 615-322-6591.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Cat Moon, PoLI Director of Innovation Design, at c.moon@vanderbilt.edu 

    or use the contact form below to sign up and be the first to learn about PoLI Institute offerings.

    Interested in a particular Immersion? Please make a note in the Message section of the form, below.