When a Michigan Law professor wanted a better way for his clinic students to learn practical skills.

Sparking Solutions for Sharpening Skills

At Michigan Law, Praktio's founder, Michael Bloom, founded and taught a transactional clinic. In the clinic, he worked with second- and third-year law students to provide legal services to local nonprofits and early-stage startups, as well as huge companies around the world.

Every law student takes Contracts in their first year, but many have never seen a contract document. So asking them to review, explain, draft, or negotiate contracts to accomplish real client business objectives is a tall task.

Thirteen weeks. And then the semester is over.

Law students come to the clinic to do real work for real clients.

Clients come to the clinic to get quality legal services, in our case, involving some thorny documents.

Thirteen weeks. To get students equipped to work with contracts for real clients—and for those students to get that client work done. You know, the work that required those students first to learn a new, foreign language (contracts).

From Analogy to Reality

If learning to read and write contracts is like learning any foreign-to-you language, where are the digital learning tools? There have been online, interactive tools available for learning the vocabulary, syntax, culture, and conventions of other languages—like, say, Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, or Codeacademy. So what about for learning the language of contracts?

Well, back when he was at Michigan Law, wanting a tool like that for his students, Michael looked. And he couldn't find it. So he built it. 

Now, law firms use Praktio to train their lawyers and staff with digital training that is practical, interactive, self-paced, and online.

Increasingly, individual lawyers, legal staff, and business people (procurement, sales, contract managers, etc.) are doing the same for themselves.

Michael L. Bloom, Founder

Michael has been curating spaces for students and professionals to make mistakes—and learn from them—since 2009.

Before founding Praktio, he was the founding director of the Transactional Lab & Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. In the clinic, Michael supervised students working on transactional matters for large, mature organizations around the world (e.g., Pepsi, Aon, NPR) and small, local organizations around the Law School. He also taught other contracts, business, and transactional law classes. Among other activities, he served as Chair of the AALS Section on Technology, Law, and Legal Education for 2018 and as Chair-Elect of the AALS Section on Teaching Methods for 2018.

Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, Michael was a Lecturer in Law and the Executive Director of the Corporate Lab Transactional Clinic, which he co-founded, at the University of Chicago Law School. In addition to practicing transactional law in a clinical setting, he practiced at Sidley Austin, with a focus on technology transactions and mergers and acquisitions.

Michael is the co-author of two books on contracts from a practical perspective: Contracts and Commercial Transactions and Contracts: A Transactional Approach, both published by Aspen.

Michael earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as a Teaching Fellow and helped launch a community development bank as part of the Community Development Financial Institutions Clinic. He earned his B.A. "with highest distinction"​ from the University of Michigan, where he studied American history and was a Dean's Merit Scholar and a member of the Bentley Society.