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National Law Journal Showcases New Transactional Lawyering MOOC

September 12, 2012

A National Law Journal article published Sept. 12 highlights a new massive open online course (or MOOC) that will allow law students, practicing attorneys and anyone interested in business acquisitions to polish their transactional lawyering skills. 

“The Basics of Acquisition Agreements” is a two-week course created by Professor Karl Okamoto that will be offered free of charge to anyone with an Internet connection.

Okamoto will be joined in teaching the course by faculty from premiere law schools: University of California-Davis School of Law Professor Afra Afsharipour, DLA Piper partner and Stanford Law Adjunct Professor Jay Finkelstein, UCLA Law Professor Andy Kaufman and Cornell University Law School Professor Charles Whitehead.

After viewing online lectures, students will complete exercises requiring them to upload videos of themselves answering hypothetical client questions about drafting a business acquisition agreement. The process will use the same online platform Okamoto created for his pathbreaking transactional LawMeets competitions.

Once the videos have been posted, students will vote on the best among their peers’ performances. The five videos receiving the most votes will be critiqued by a panel of experts including partners from firms including Dechert, K&L Gates, Latham & Watkins and Sullivan & Cromwell and attorneys for companies including Oracle and Xerox.

All students will then be able to view a video of experts demonstrating how they would have answered the same client questions.

There’s no tuition or fees, except for practitioners who seek CLE credit or certificates for participating, Okamoto said.

While some of the nation’s most elite universities are collaborating to offer a variety of courses through MOOCs, this will be the first law school course delivered in this way, Okamoto added.

The course is just the newest example of Okamoto’s leadership as a pioneering legal educator. In 2010, he launched the inaugural Transactional LawMeet, which was the first competition ever to test law students deal-making skills. This year, six regional LawMeets will be held at law schools around the country, leading up to the national finals on the Drexel University campus in March 2013.

In August, the U.S. News and World Report, the ABA Law Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer covered Okamoto’s LawMeets platform, which received a $500,000 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Science Foundation.

Click here for more information on the new course.