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Lindy’s Delicatessen, 51st & Broadway, NYC (credit: Bertil Carlson, via Wikimedia Commons)

Yes. The Cravath System. The case method.  And much more.


Here’s the technical definition of the “Lindy effect“: The robustness of an idea or technology (anything nonperishable) is proportional to its longevity.

This post examines how we can observe the Lindy effect in many facets of life, including law.  Some of these are obvious, like the Cravath System and the Langdellian case method, which are both in their second century and show no signs of fading.  But are there durable aspects of life and business we are overlooking because, rather foolishly, we’re favoring what is novel, shiny, and hyped?
Continue Reading Does the Lindy effect apply to law? (244)


Diversity is indeed associated with higher law firm profits.  To accept this fact, the profession needs to understand why.


Figure 1 above reports expected changes in average partner compensation at different levels of racial diversity among attorneys in large law firms.  These results come from an “all else equal” model that accounts for differences in a multitude of other relevant factors, such as geography, leverage, and firm prestige.

The key takeaway? Within the large firm market, firms with higher shares of Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Multiracial attorneys (“diverse attorneys”) are paying their partners higher average levels of compensation—at about a $260K premium for the firms with the highest diverse representation.
Continue Reading Nothing not to like: diversity and law firm profitability (238)


The data exist to make legal education measurably better.


Figure 1 above uses data from the 2020 Law School Survey of Student of Engagement (LSSSE) to visualize 10 average score “distributions” based on responses from 12,969 law students at 68 participating U.S. law schools. The distributions are at the law school level. Thus, for all ten measures, each participating law school’s average score exists somewhere within the orange-yellow-grey-blue-green distribution.  The grey is the fat part of the underlying bell curve (25-75th percentiles).  In addition, each Figure 1 measure maps to one or more of the ABA’s Accreditation Standards (see references in brackets).
Continue Reading What is an excellent legal education? Answers based on data (193)


Without effective communication principles, advanced statistics are useless. Some of my key lessons from the field.


The graphic above provides a breakdown of 2018 law school graduates with diverse race/ethnicity backgrounds. Each hand represents 100 JDs. The colors represent four different categories in the U.S. News law school rankings. Thus, the Tier 3/4 schools have the largest number of diverse race/ethnicity graduates—4,500 JDs, or about 45% of all diverse 2018 JD grads. Likewise, only 1,300, or 13%, attended elite T-14 schools, which is clear, useful information for legal employers who have urgency regarding diversity.
Continue Reading How to talk data and influence people, including lawyers (137)

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The legal profession’s commitment to diversity has a credibility problem.


Since the early 2000s, law departments and law firms have advanced ambitious public initiatives to diversify the legal profession. In law firm power centers, however, the disconnect between public proclamations and empirical reality is staggering.
Continue Reading Credible commitments to legal diversity (114)


After carefully reviewing the data, we think the answer is yes. This is a special two-part holiday weekend series.


How many readers find value from ratings and reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, Consumer Reports, Healthgrades, Trip Advisor, Amazon and Ebay?
Continue Reading Workplace transparency, Part I: Is it time to take Glassdoor seriously? (094)