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A. Innovation methodologies are used to create novel experiments meant to improve DEI in legal, but more significantly, systems innovation creates an opportunity to advance DEI as a critical feature of the next epoch and not an afterthought.


I begin this post with a disclaimer: I’m a woman in law. I’m not racially diverse, or otherwise so. While I have an education and appreciation of the myriad DEI issues in the profession and broader society, I do not have a personal understanding beyond my own gendered experience. I speak only for myself from my place of understanding, with the best intentions towards empowering all people to flourish through equitable systems.

Q: “Wait, is this a Diversity initiative or an Innovation initiative?”

A: “It’s both.”
Continue Reading Q: How does innovation intersect with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in law? (298)


A. The lawyers are not asking for it and, without a roadmap to ensure success, the legal marketing function is not incentivized to pave the way.


I recently presented on the productization of legal services and subscription-based offerings in the B2B legal space at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference. See Post 037 (noting large structural difference between B2C and B2B legal sectors). The conference and the session were, from a NewLaw perspective, underwhelming.

In this column, I will provide context and then share my learnings from this experience.
Continue Reading Q. Why are most law firm marketing professionals “ho-hum” on the productization of legal services? (295)


This post is a digest of an important new article on the digital transformation of legal departments.


Me:  [Enthusiastically sharing new NewLaw literature with a friend.]

Friend:  “My first reaction is…that’s a lot of pages!”

It is a lot of pages. It is also critical reading, even for the newly acquainted. For those who want the bottom line without all of the pages, this digest is for you.
Continue Reading Q. What is digital transformation? A primer for legal professionals (289)


A. Because it requires us to evolve our culture.


The building blocks to create the next level of Legal are now available, so why aren’t we “there” yet?

In this month’s NewLaw column, I suggest that Legal’s modernization journey is cultural as well as technological.  Indeed, without the evolution of our culture, our innovation efforts are destined to frustrate and underwhelm our key stakeholders.
Continue Reading Q. Why aren’t we “there” yet in modernizing Legal? (286)


Answer: Be the relevant, accurate, and practical colleague


You may have noticed that I’m not one for hype and fantastical projections meant to scare actors into action. It is critical for credibility in emerging spaces to ground the noise back into reality. The key to becoming a trusted NewLaw and legal innovation advisor is to make it all very practical.

This “wait a minute, here” fire lit inside me after a doomsday litigation presentation at a conference a few years ago. After telling a room of litigation partners that they were going to be automated out of business in the next few years and thus needed the presenter’s services, it was my turn to take the stage.
Continue Reading NewLaw can be overwhelming.  How can I make it less so for the benefit of my team? (278)


Short answer: From you. So let’s turn it into a positive.


It is that time of year, when 1Ls are starting to think about and explore job opportunities for summer 2022. They research the legal market online and engage through social media, but generally rely on their law school career resources to usher them into the legal world.

But, with a few exceptions, law students must rely on you — the person on the front lines of modern law practice — to help them understand where and how NewLaw will be an integral part of their futures.

Personally, I make myself available to law students about career questions for two reasons.
Continue Reading Where are law students learning about NewLaw? (274)


Q. In the simplest terms possible, what is the core functionality of AI in legal?


It often seems that most of the legal profession thinks that AI is a box of pixie dust that you can sprinkle over any data set with the right incantation and voila, produce your desired result.

Most lawyers are confused about Artificial Intelligence (AI). While typically experts at adopting new language and using it correctly in context to convey sophistication around concepts not squarely in their wheelhouses, AI tends to be the exception. As evident in industry conversations, the confusion boils down to what AI does, and how, as applied to legal practice.

We should clear this up.  To do so, let’s take all the sex and rock n’ roll out of it, and strip AI to its core…
Continue Reading Brass tacks re: Artificial Intelligence in legal (264)


So we’re gonna change too.


In last month’s column (Post 253), we defined NewLaw as a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed. Thus, it is reasonable to ask …

Q.  Why do we need a different approach?

It may seem the old ways are working just fine. Law firms are making money, clients are delivering services to their businesses, the wheels keep turning. And if ain’t broke, don’t fix it … right?
Continue Reading The needs of clients are changing (258)


A. NewLaw is a mindset.


NewLaw is a mindset. It is a movement. NewLaw’s enemy is the adage: “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Whether coined by Eric Chin, see Post 242, or Jordan Furlong, see Furlong, “An Incomplete Inventory of New Law,” Law21, May 13, 2014, the original definition circa 2013 was: “any model, process, or tool that represents a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed.”
Continue Reading Q. What is NewLaw? (253)


A. Using the wrong approach to innovation, followed by an effective one-by-one approach that did not scale.


The biggest mistake that I made as the US innovation lead at a global law firm was in trying to teach lawyers how to “do” innovation—how to do my job.  My intention was to empower them with NewLaw resources to better solve legal and business of law challenges for their clients.  I felt privileged to have this magic wand of innovation, of robust problem-solving, to offer them.  But I chose the wrong method at the outset.  And, unfortunately for my mandate, intention does not equal perception.
Continue Reading Q. What has been your biggest mistake as an innovation lead? (243)