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If you have something worth sharing, send it along


What was important last week seems completely irrelevant today.  Thus, instead of focusing exclusively on our editorial content, which was carefully planned through May, Legal Evolution is turning to its readership to explore what’s important and worth sharing.

Legal Evolution’s readership is not large (~6,500 sessions / 4,750 unique users during a big month), but it’s very distinctive, made up of innovators and early adopters from law firms, legal departments, legaltech, NewLaw, law schools (faculty and students), regulators, consultants, government agencies, public interest organizations, and the BigFour.  For the next several weeks or months, a sizable portion of this remarkable group has a lot of extra time on its hands.  This creates a very large space for reflection, which is the seedbed of creativity.  It’s hard to overstate the potential social value that could flow from this otherwise dire black swan event.
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Some realism on the regulatory reform movement


Imagine a legal sector neatly divided into two groups: the Rule Makers and the Risk Takers.  With evidence piling up that the legal market is not working for ordinary citizens, the Rule Makers come together to evaluate possible changes. After the new rules are enacted, the burden shifts to the Risk Takers to build out workable solutions.

If we apply this simple model to the US legal sector, it appears that the Rule Makers are struggling to deliver, as the most high-profile liberalization efforts at the state and national levels are now being shelved or slow-walked. See, e.g., Cheryl Miller, “California State Bar Puts Brakes on Proposed ‘Regulatory Sandbox,’” Am. Law., Mar. 13, 2020 (citing “political headwinds” as reason for tabling ATILS Task Force recommendations); Brenda Sapino Jeffreys, “ABA Approves Innovation Resolution, With Revisions to Limit Regulatory Changes,” Law.com, Feb. 17, 2020 (discussing passage of watered down resolution that disavowed any changes to nonlawyer ownership or the unauthorized practice of law).
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Hotshot now free for law students and faculty


In the span of the last week,  virtually all of legal education has moved  to an online format. See Paul Caron, “More than 185 Law Schools (93%) Have Moved Online Due to the Coronavirus,” TaxProf, Mar. 14, 2020.   Per the above tweet from Paddy Cosgrove, it is hard to imagine that such a massive and sudden change does not result in the discovery of new capabilities.
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The LexBlog Network includes more than 1,000 legal blogs and 23,000 authors, including Legal Evolution.  Twenty years ago, a lawyer would have to travel to a law library to access the depth and breadth of content that is now available to anyone with an internet connection.

Thus, it is a remarkable achievement that regular contributor Evan Parker took home two of six Lexblog Awards for Exemplary Writing:
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A story for the New Year.  Maybe you can relate.


I recently turned 57 years old.  Although I am dismayed and disappointed by many things happening in our republic, and impatient with an industry, profession and educational complex that is supposed to operate in the public interest, whatever quantum of cynicism I possessed went away in 2019. Moreover, it happened quickly, albeit many of the pieces were put into place more a decade ago.
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Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

This week, I’m pleased to welcome back occasional contributor Dan Currell, who in today’s feature post reviews the recently published book, The Trust Revolution, by M. Todd Henderson and Salen Churi. See Post 130.

Dan’s return provides an opportunity to explain his mysterious title (Former Managing Director, AdvanceLaw) in the right side bar.  Dan’s current title is Senior Advisor in the Office of Finance and Operations at the U.S. Department of Education.  But to post that title would arguably require a clarification that Dan’s views are his own and not necessarily those of the current Administration or the Department of Education (in the unlikely event either has views on legal innovation). 
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“I make innovation less risky and more accessible to the many brilliant lawyers in our firm.” — Anusia Gillespie


I am pleased to introduce today’s guest contributor, Anusia Gillespie, who currently serves as Director of Innovation at Eversheds Sutherland (US).  As demonstrated in Post 128, Gillespie has the full innovator’s tool box:  multiple perspectives (law, design, business operations, technology, and strategy), systems thinking, intellectual courage, astute observation, and the patience and confidence to learn through controlled trial and error.
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[click on to enlarge]

One-to-many legal solutions are built by teams of multidisciplinary professionals. It’s time to build a legal talent supply chain.


The above graphic is a map of the human capital needed to create “one-to-many” legal solutions (Human Capital Map).  It’s a dense graphic on a complex topic. To explain its structure and the key insights it provides, I’ll cover the following topics:
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A couple of years ago, a talented group of legal professionals began working on a competency model that reflects and fully captures the skills of 21st century legal practice — a daunting task, but perhaps one ideally suited for a patience, persistent, multidisciplinary team.  In today’s feature post (125), the group shares their work product, which is called the Delta Model.
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