The Lunsford Academy

The W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology offers students an honors program. The Lunsford Academy develops “Renaissance Lawyers” for the Information Age. The honors curriculum is designed to enhance the comprehensive legal education provided by NKU Chase by emphasizing legal technology, quantitative methods, leadership, informatics and other skills critical to the future of the practice of law and business.

Our Story



Our Leaders

W. Bruce Lunsford


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W. Bruce Lunsford

Jeffrey A. Standen

Christopher Gulinello


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Christopher Gulinello

Jeannine Abukhater Lambert

Assistant Director of Advancement

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Jeannine Abukhater Lambert

Future Students

Renaissance Lawyers for the Information Age - Fluent in the Languages of Law, Business, and Technology

Lunsford Academy Curriculum:

Business Organizations
Essential Quantitative Skills for Lawyers
The Business of Law: Creative Thinking for Firms and Clients

Intellectual Property and Other Intangible Assets: Drafting and Negotiating Strategies
Technology of the Modern Legal Practice
Legal App Development

Providing students with essential business acumen

The Lunsford Academy recognizes that the modern lawyer needs a basic understanding of the tools and language of business. Entrepreneurs, business leaders, clients, and professional colleagues all use a common set of disciplines and tools to share information, evaluate risk, and make financial decisions.

The Lunsford Academy provides students with competence in finance, accounting, and statistics so they can better understand the needs of their clients, make strategic decisions for their own businesses, and play a role in their clients’ financial decisions.

Fostering creative thinking

New lawyers are facing a changing legal marketplace. Traditional paths to practice are narrowing, competitive forces on the profession are increasing, and clients are demanding new types of services and service experiences.

The Lunsford Academy trains students in creative design and problem solving for their law practices. In addition, students also develop skills that allow them to fashion creative legal solutions for their clients’ businesses. In the Lunsford Academy, students develop the foundational skills for becoming business-competent lawyers and business leaders.

Harnessing the power of intellectual property

Business clients need attorneys who can advise them on maximizing their ability to generate revenue from their intellectual property.

The Lunsford Academy provides students with the skills necessary to identify strategies for effective drafting and negotiation of intellectual property licenses.

Introducing students to modern technology

The modern legal practice requires a high-level of proficiency with technology. Attorneys without these skills generate additional costs for law firms and clients.

The Lunsford Academy instructs students in the efficient use of standard office technology in the practice of law and introduces them to legal technology products designed specifically for attorneys as well as the products that compete with lawyers.

In the Lunsford Academy, students also develop a legal app. Through this project, they gain a deeper understanding of the legal and technological issues relevant to developing software products and they learn how to articulate their legal knowledge to non-experts.


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The Lunsford Academy is the first law school curriculum in the United States to create a new type of professional program by integrating legal education with technology and business expertise. Participants will take specialized courses that emphasize legal technology, business, finance, and leadership skills which will be crucial to survive in tomorrow’s legal practice and industry leadership.

By completing the honors curriculum, students will have a diverse knowledge of and advanced training in several professional fields that overlap with law. These multi-faceted law students will be prepared to succeed in the fast-changing; technology-driven legal profession and will be viewed as Renaissance Lawyers for the Information Age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Renaissance Lawyers for the Information Age are thoroughly trained in law, business, philosophy, technology, and culture. These lawyers are trained to use the technology in practice for the benefit of their clients and society. They apply business methods in service of their profession and bring professionalism to business.
Employers in law practice and business want new lawyers to understand how to service their clients efficiently and completely. Well-trained lawyers know to look for the root cause of issues in order to provide the optimal solutions. Employers know students trained in this approach provide much better service to their clients and their colleagues.
No other law school has integrated specific courses in business, quantitative methods, law, leadership, privacy, intellectual property, and technology. Few schools even offer the business courses and technology courses which comprise the heart of this new curriculum. These courses are taught as foundational material, so that students can use them for any type of practice or career rather than focusing on a particular industry or type of legal practice. Nowhere else are these courses integrated into a unified field of study or combined with a capstone simulation program. Lunsford Academy members are guaranteed enrollment in all specialty courses, as well as invitations to attend programs and events related to the Lunsford Academy.
The Lunsford Academy features simulation courses and capstone projects, enabling the students to simulate live-client environments while learning in a controlled environment. Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in Chase’s Field Placement Clinical Program (externship program) or a live-client clinic to gain additional, hands-on experience.
After years of practice, most lawyers develop an area of expertise, either through their department in a law firm or the types of clients with whom they work most often. The Lunsford Academy curriculum is not a separate area of expertise. Instead, the courses provide a critical foundation to all areas of practice. It will improve the ability for an attorney to specialize and understand the needs of the attorney’s clients.
To be considered for membership into the academy, complete the NKU Chase College of Law application for admission and have two letters of recommendation on file with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. Accepted students will be awarded a scholarship and be eligible to enroll in the immersive honors program.




NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute

The NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute provides critical interdisciplinary research, coursework, and community outreach on issues involving media and information systems and emerging technologies across all areas of law. The Institute works with all fields within the legal profession to explore the legal and societal consequences resulting from creation, acquisition, aggregation, security, manipulation, and exploitation of data.

Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic

The Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic, in its fifth year, provides legal services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofit entities in the local community. In 2013-14, the Clinic represented 53 clients in Ohio and Kentucky and provided over 2,800 hours of free legal service to those clients.

The Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic provides students the opportunity to develop the legal skills utilized by business and transactional lawyers by dealing with real clients and issues. The clinic represents clients in both Ohio and Kentucky. Evening students, if they can attend class at 5 pm, are welcome to participate, as many clients prefer to meet in the evening. All students must commit to spend 4 hours a week in the clinic office.

Joint Degrees

NKU Chase College of Law and the College of Informatics offers two joint degree programs: the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Informatics (JD/MBI) and the Juris Doctor/Master of Health Informatics (JD/MHI). The Lunsford Academy and the NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute work closely with the College of Informatics and partner from across the globe to provide innovative curriculum, training, and scholarship in informatics. In addition, NKU Chase College of Law and the Haile/US Bank College of Business offer the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA) joint degree.

For students considering one of the Chase joint degree programs, they should consider the course requirements carefully. The JD/MHI and JD/MBA joint degree programs do not require any particular expertise. Nonetheless, there may be particular prerequisites that are required or considered very helpful for students who have no computer science or informatics experience to take in addition to the program’s minimum requirements.

  • Juris Doctor/Master of Business Informatics
    The business informatics joint degree program focuses on the study of information technology in the context of business and law. With an MBI earned through NKU’s College of Informatics, students will develop skills to manage vital information resources found throughout the business world today. JD/MBI graduates will be able to participate in strategic planning regarding data management in business, NGOs and government.
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Health Informatics
    The health informatics joint degree program is an attractive alternative for individuals who wish to practice health law with a greater understanding of the underpinnings of regulatory compliance and data-driven health practices. With an MHI earned through NKU’s College of Informatics, students will develop skills to manage vital information resources found throughout the healthcare profession, develop institutional policies, and address regulatory needs.
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration
    Law and informatics students may elect to participate in the standard JD/MBA. With an MBA earned through NKU’s Haile/US Bank College of Business, students will develop skills to lead business organizations and provide legal counseling integrated with a client’s fundamental business needs. The JD/MBA brings critical management, accounting and finance, and leadership skills to enhance the student’s understanding of law.

Field Placement

The Semester in Practice Program is a field-based external clinic in which students apprentice (without pay) with lawyers in all areas of practice or in judicial chambers anywhere in the world. The SIP provides an opportunity – through observation, participation, practice, and reflection – to improve students’ legal knowledge and skills and to inform and expand their vision of what the practice and profession of law can be. 


The INKUBATOR aims to increase the competitive advantage for NKU students by providing them with education, mentoring, financing, facilities, and other related resources necessary for a successful entrepreneurial startup process.

Origins of the Academy

The Lunsford Academy originated out of former NKU Chase Law Professor Jon M. Garon’s article, “Legal Education in Disruption: The Headwinds and Tailwinds of Technology”, which was published in 2013 in the Connecticut Law Review.  He presented the paper at the 2012 law review symposium, entitled “Demands and Limitations of the Legal Education Market”, on the campus of the University of Connecticut School of Law.  



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Media Contact

Lindsey Jaeger, J.D., S.S.B.B.

Director of Communications

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Lindsey Jaeger, J.D., S.S.B.B.

Media Contact:
Lindsey Jaeger
Director of Communications



Christopher Gulinello
Professor of Law
Director of the Lunsford Academy
Nunn Hall 526

Jeannine Abukhater Lambert
Assistant Director of Advancement
Centers & Institutes
Nunn Hall 323

NKU Chase Office of Admissions

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