Legal Evolution is an online publication that focuses on the changing legal industry. It 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.
The mission of Legal Evolution is to provide lawyers, legal educators, and allied professionals with high quality information to solve very difficult industry-specific problems. Our content reflects a mix of theory, data, and carefully drawn examples of what is working 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 future of the legal industry.
Many of Legal Evolution’s articles 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 a wide variety of 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 that knowledge. The following foundational posts provide the essential information:
- What is Legal Evolution? (001)
- What is the Rogers Diffusion Curve? (004)
- Units of Analysis and Adopter Types (007)
- Variables Determining the Rate of Adoption of Innovations (008)
- Fast versus Slow Innovations (011)
- Innovations in Organizations, Part I (015), Part II (016), Part III (017)
- Change Agents and Opinion Leaders (020)
- “Crossing the Chasm” and the “Hype Cycle”, Part I (024), Part II (025), Part III (026)
Finally, Legal Evolution should itself evolve. Comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcome.