Law firm innovation takes many forms. We need a tool to de-risk and demystify the process.


The above graphic is the Maker’s Matrix©, which is a tool I created to more efficiently categorize, prioritize, and resource innovation projects.  This is because innovation in law firms is a nascent field with lots of hype and headlines but remarkably little structure.  See, e.g., Bruce MacEwen, “Who’s your Chief Innovation Officer, ” Adam Smith, Esq., Nov. 13, 2019.  That’s okay, though.  I’m happy for the opportunity to figure it out.
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“I make innovation less risky and more accessible to the many brilliant lawyers in our firm.” — Anusia Gillespie


I am pleased to introduce today’s guest contributor, Anusia Gillespie, who currently serves as Director of Innovation at Eversheds Sutherland (US).  As demonstrated in Post 128, Gillespie has the full innovator’s tool box:  multiple perspectives (law, design, business operations, technology, and strategy), systems thinking, intellectual courage, astute observation, and the patience and confidence to learn through controlled trial and error.
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One-to-many legal solutions are built by teams of multidisciplinary professionals. It’s time to build a legal talent supply chain.


The above graphic is a map of the human capital needed to create “one-to-many” legal solutions (Human Capital Map).  It’s a dense graphic on a complex topic. To explain its structure and the key insights it provides, I’ll cover the following topics:
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“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”    — Albert Einstein


The members of the Delta Model working group imagine a world, not too far off, where law schools, legal employers and clients all share a common touchstone for lawyer development.  For the last two years, we’ve been working on such a touchstone, which we call the Delta Model.  Our current version is expressed in the graphic above.
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A couple of years ago, a talented group of legal professionals began working on a competency model that reflects and fully captures the skills of 21st century legal practice — a daunting task, but perhaps one ideally suited for a patience, persistent, multidisciplinary team.  In today’s feature post (125), the group shares their work product, which is called the Delta Model.
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For today’s feature article (Post 123), I am pleased to introduce, Tim Mohan, Chief Executive Partner of Chapman and Cutler, an AmLaw 200 focused on financial institutions and financial services companies.

I met Tim more than a decade ago because he was one of the few law firm leaders who regularly attended programs on law firm management.  More often than not, Tim was there as an attendee rather than a speaker, quietly collecting data points to help him understand the market and formulate a strategy that could help his firm succeed. 
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Legal education is ripe for properly designed experiments. It’s time to get started.


In my last post, Legal Education is a Data Desert (096), I described the deficiencies in data available and mobilized on behalf of clear-eyed assessment of legal education outcomes.  While noting some conspicuous exceptions, I said that there’s simply not enough attention


No matter what happens, we’re all going to learn something.


In 2014, I was invited to lunch with Joe Andrew, the chairman of Dentons, in his DC office.  The invitation came from John Fernandez, an Indiana Law alum who joined Dentons a couple of years earlier after two decades in government.  Joe and John came up through the ranks together in Indiana Democratic politics, with Andrew eventually becoming Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party (from 1995-1999) and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1999-2001).
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