ISSN 2769-6162

Legal Evolution is an online publication that focuses on the changing legal industry.  Legal Evolution was founded in 2017 by Bill Henderson, Professor of Law and Stephen F. Burns Chair on the Legal Profession at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. It currently publishes a feature essay on the first Sunday of each month, with periodic publication of other items of interest, including industry announcements.

The original mission of Legal Evolution was to provide lawyers, legal educators, and allied professionals with high-quality information to solve very difficult industry-specific problems. Recent political turmoil in the United States required re-evaluating what we were trying to accomplish. See Post 349 (putting Legal Evolution on pause). In December 2023, Legal Evolution resumed publication, with the editor (Henderson) making PeopleLaw a primary area of focus. For a complete explanation of this editorial shift, including a fulsome discussion of the political turmoil in the US, see Post 350.

Legal Evolution content is primarily applied research. Thus, it reflects a mix of theory, data, and carefully drawn examples of what works in the field.  Some academics might view Legal Evolution as too descriptive or applied, while many practitioners may find it too theoretical or data-oriented.  Yet, for those willing to venture beyond their own professional turf into the middle ground of theory and practice, this forum will provide useful examples and guidance on the legal industry’s future. 

Many of Legal Evolution’s articles, particularly in the early years, are grounded in diffusion theory, which is an applied research field pioneered by the eminent sociologist Everett Rogers. Rogers was an iconoclastic professor who skillfully pulled together empirical research from various disciplines to create a general theory of how innovation diffuses.  Rogers’ theory was first published in his seminal book Diffusion of Innovations (1962), with each subsequent edition over the next 40 years providing ever richer examples of how diffusion theory could be used to accelerate the adoption of innovation, often for important, socially beneficial ends.

Readers will obtain maximum value from Legal Evolution if they have a working knowledge of diffusion theory.  However, you don’t need to leave Legal Evolution to get this knowledge.  The following foundational posts provide essential information:

Finally, Legal Evolution should itself evolve.  Comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcome.


Bill Henderson

ISSN 2769-6162