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A dozen charts shed light on how a K-shaped recovery widens the distance between the haves and the have-nots.

Part I (216) of this 5-part series (#GreatExpectations for the #GreatReset) provided a broad retrospective on the last downturn for both BigLaw and corporate clients, with emphasis on the socioeconomic context around the legal market.  The next two posts comprise an experiment in format.  Parts II (217) and III (218) are snack-sized posts 🍙🍿 (at least for me 😇), each covering a handful of charts 📊 as background for a long-form post in Part IV (219).

The charts in today’s post explore the economic impacts of 2020 and the implications of a K-shaped recovery for legal markets.  A K-shaped recovery refers to divergent recovery outcomes for different subsegments of the economy, both across and within sectors.  See Talib Visram, “Forget U or V or W: We may be headed toward a K-shaped recovery,” Fast Company, Sept 11, 2020.
Continue Reading #GreatExpectations, Part II: Some Play to Win & the Rest Fight to Survive (217)

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Before we peer into the 🔮 crystal ball to forecast what awaits legal markets in a post-pandemic future, we first look back to the past for lessons from the last downturn – with a wider lens to better understand how the world around our industry is changing.

Now is the winter of our discontent: the worst (😧!) year (🤮!) EVER (😣!!) is finally in the rearview mirror.  Although the first stretch of the new year presages some grim days ahead, I’m doing my best to look to 2021 and beyond with hope and optimism.
Continue Reading #GreatExpectations for the #GreatReset, Part I: a Recession Retrospective and a Post-Pandemic Reckoning (216)


As the legal services market becomes more competitive, law firm strategy—or lack thereof—will have real consequences.


If we polled business school professors, all would agree that long-term strategy beats short-term strategy, at least over the long-term.  If true, the following two statements ought to be in tension with one another:

  1. The traditional law firm operating

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Transparency is coming to B2B commercial contracts


Markets have evolved dramatically over the centuries with the world moving from traditional markets like souks and bazaars to eCommerce.  The differences in efficiency between the two are staggering with buyers and sellers now enjoying faster transaction cycle times, lower administrative costs, and, most important, greater value derived from their purchases and sales.  A number of factors contribute to this development.
Continue Reading Competition based on better commercial contract terms (211)

Legal professional skepticism of the future value of change investment leads to underinvestment.


A first-pass look at our future.


In earlier Legal Evolution posts, I’ve shared reflections upon my career journey (080), professional evolution (143), and current area of focus (159).  This article describes an investment hypothesis for the upcoming decade focused on building the future of the practice of law [hereafter,


“It is no exaggeration to say that the Restatement of the common law is the most difficult as well as the most important public work ever undertaken without the aid of government by the legal profession in this or any other country.”  William Draper Lewis, “Present Status of the American Law Institute,” 11 NYU L Rev 337, 343 (1929).

This essay is about the importance and value of building shared “legal infrastructure,” which is a term coined by the eminent economist and law professor Gillian Hadfield in her book, Rules for a Flat World (2017).
Continue Reading Legal infrastructure and the forgotten story of the Restatements (207)