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Jason Barnwell is an attorney in Microsoft’s Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs department. He leads Microsoft’s Legal Business, Operations, and Strategy team, with previous roles leading the Open Source Software practice group and counseling the Cloud and AI Platform Business. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was an associate in the Emerging Companies practice group at Cooley LLP. Before entering law school, he worked as a software engineer developing enterprise software. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and his J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law.

Legal professional skepticism of the future value of change investment leads to underinvestment.

A first-pass look at our future.

In earlier Legal Evolution posts, I’ve shared reflections upon my career journey (080), professional evolution (143), and current area of focus (159).  This article describes an investment hypothesis for the upcoming decade focused on building the future of the practice of law [hereafter, “future practice”]. The conclusions are inaccurate, which obviously requires some explanation.

The goal of this essay is to frame the problem, describe the starting direction, and share updates as we get smarter.  Indeed, what we are trying to solve is what policy analysts call a “wicked problem”— a problem so complex that it is highly resistant to resolution.  Because “[t]ackling wicked problems is an evolving art,” Australian Public Service Commission, “Tackling wicked problems: A public policy perspective,” June 12, 2018, we must give away the playbook so that the entire ecosystem can evolve to support our adaptation.
Continue Reading Our wicked problem: Building the future of the practice of law (210)