LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A team of legal educators and innovators coordinated by Concord Law School at Purdue University Global, the nation’s first fully-online law school, has won the inaugural Wolters Kluwer Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation for its work improving access to justice for low-income clients.
The award was given for the project Expanding Access to Justice and Practical Legal Training, a collaborative effort of two related start-up firms – Proboknow and Lowboknow – geared toward bridging the access-to-justice gap, especially prevalent among clients with limited access to affordable legal help.
The project team was brought together by Concord Law School Dean Martin Pritikin, who said the award reflects the school’s commitment to seek greater affordability, flexibility, and access to a law degree – and to legal services.
“Concord Law School continues to set the bar for developing and supporting innovating programs that revolutionize the way students can obtain a law degree,” said Pritikin. “We also believe strongly that greater access to affordable legal education will lead to greater and more equitable access to the legal system, especially in underserved communities.”
Concord, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, joined the Purdue University system in April when it was acquired, along with the former Kaplan University, and began operating as part of Purdue University Global.
Proboknow is a not-for-profit online platform that connects newer attorneys with low-income clients in need of pro bono help, as well as more experienced attorneys who can serve as mentors. Proboknow is supported by Lowboknow, a for-profit start-up that connects those who earn too much to qualify for free legal help, yet not enough to afford market rates, with attorneys and small law firms willing to take on their cases at a lower fee.
Pritikin said the $10,000 prize will help fund the two start-up companies’ expansion from Southern California to Boston to help grow the network of participating lawyers and clients on the east coast and demonstrate the program’s scalability to a national platform.
“As a fully online law school, we’re highly focused on the use of technology to meet the needs of our students,” said Pritikin. “Partnering with technology companies to expand access to the legal system is a natural extension of our mission and our commitment to connect Concord’s distinguished faculty with experts from the courtroom to the boardroom, with both public and private sector experience.”
The winning team included Pritikin; Proboknow and Lowboknow’s co-founder and chief operating officer, Scott Barnes, and its co-founder and chief executive officer, Chad Trainer; Gabriel Teninbaum, professor and director of the Institute on Legal Innovation and Technology at Suffolk University Law School; and William Tanner, director of clinic and pro bono programs at Veterans Legal Institute and the executive director of the Consortium on Access to Justice.
In addition to offering a Juris Doctor (JD), Concord was the first online law school to develop an Executive Juris Doctor (EJD), a program designed for students who aren’t interested in becoming a lawyer, but want advanced legal knowledge and skills to help advance their careers.
The $10,000 prize awarded by Wolters Legal & Regulatory U.S., part of Wolters Kluwer N.V., recognizes teams that demonstrate “a vision for improving outcomes and educational opportunities for law school students and new associates.” Winning teams will be discussing their projects at a live webinar hosted by Wolters Kluwer on Jan. 16.
In announcing the prize winners, Vikram Savkar, vice president and general manager, international and higher education markets, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., said: “The winners of the competition demonstrated a great deal of creativity to help solve some of the most significant challenges that the legal community is facing today.”
About Purdue Global
Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations -- no matter where they are in their life journey.
Purdue Global serves approximately 29,000 students, most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates 14 locations in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University's flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) Indianapolis campus.
For more information about Purdue Global, please visit www.PurdueGlobal.edu.