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Layering in a new set of skills and know-how in an already crowded law school curriculum.


Last week, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) acquired the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP).  From far away, many lawyers, law professors, and law students are bound to ask, “Why is the maker of the LSAT, which has been part of the legal education landscape for 70+ years, acquiring a fledging nonprofit start-up focused future of law practice?”

The answer is that LSAC and IFLP saw a clear pathway to benefit future generations of legal professionals in their work with clients and broader society.  Although some readers may question such a lofty purpose, we believe that as a self-regulated legal profession, it is our obligation to foster and maintain a legal system that works for all citizens and upholds the rule of law.  Only then is lasting prosperity possible, both for lawyers and broader society, and the promise of equal justice more within reach.
Continue Reading Special Post: LSAC acquisition of IFLP explained (275)


In this week’s feature post (267), we are pleased to welcome guest contributor Casey Flaherty, who explains why the “getting naked” approach to consultative sales is the perfect model to solve the decision overload faced by time-starved legal professionals.

I have great admiration for Flaherty, primarily because he is a true expert at mining economic, business, and scientific concepts for insights that improve the efficiency and quality of legal service delivery.  Yet, Post 267 reveals even more depth and range, as Casey ventures into the realm of fear and insecurity that lies beneath virtually every ambitious knowledge worker.
Continue Reading Guest contributor Casey Flaherty (266)


115,770 versus 107,209


Above is a graphic that shows the increase in the number of employed lawyers broken down by sector.  The takeaway is that in-house is growing much faster than the government and law firm sectors.

This graphic was originally published in Post 003 (through 2016).  Thus, I thought it was time for an update.

From1997 (the first year of comparable data from the BLS) to 2020, the number of lawyers employed in-house has increased from 34,750 to 115,770 — a 3x increase. Yes, the rapid pace of growth is noteworthy, but equally significant is the relatively large size of the in-house sector.  As a point of comparison, there are 145,600 lawyers (partners, associates, and other attorneys) working in a domestic office of one of the nation’s 500 largest law firms (NLJ 500). (Another 28,100 NLJ 500 lawyers work outside the U.S.)
Continue Reading In-house is bigger than BigLaw (262)


Avoid debate. Build useful stuff.


Earlier this summer, Legal Evolution applied to the Library of Congress for an International Standard Serial Number, or ISSN.  A few weeks ago, we received our official approval. Legal Evolution is ISSN 2769-6161.  You can look us up, along with other publications, at the ISSN Portal.

Most readers have little familiarity with ISSN, primarily because it operates in the background. Its purpose is to track specific titles of ongoing or serialized publications. In essence, it’s part of the inventory control system for the world’s knowledge.  Historically, knowledge has been stored in libraries.  But nowadays, an ever-growing proportion is stored in the Cloud.
Continue Reading Turf, hierarchy, and evolving professional norms (261)


For today’s feature (Post 260), Legal Evolution is pleased to welcome back guest contributor Randy Kiser, whom I’ve previously described as the “preeminent scholar of the U.S. legal profession” and the “world’s leading authority on legal decision making.” See Post 110 (reviewing Kiser’s scholarship and surprising career along with his most recent book,


Pretty much everything was a counterintuitive curveball.


In April of 2006, more than 15 years ago, I wrote a memo to file that would go on to exert a disproportionately large impact on my thinking and career, albeit many of the lessons took years to come into focus and were far from what I expected.

The topic was Moneyball as applied to law firm associates—in essence, sketching out the data and methodology necessary to identify under and overvalued attributes of law firm associates, akin to the selection methods used by Oakland Athletics in the famous book by Michael Lewis.
Continue Reading Moneyball for law firm associates: a 15-year retrospective (257)


Len Fromm’s lawyer shares what he’s learned.


Positively Conflicted is the right book for any lawyer seeking a rich and fulfilling life, which is a larger category than one’s career.

According to the author, lawyer-meditator Sam Ardery, we get to this highly desirable endpoint by getting good at conflict. On one level, this makes sense, as we’re all in the conflict business. But Ardery’s definition of conflict is remarkably broad and includes the tensions and traumas of our personal, professional, and familial relations as well internal conflicts, where we stew over our inadequate supply of power, security, esteem, and comfort.
Continue Reading Positively Conflicted (book review) (252)


With today’s feature post (248), Legal Evolution is pleased to welcome Rob Saccone.  One of the most recurring themes on Legal Evolution is how is law is becoming a multidisciplinary field in which lawyers a subset of a larger universe of legal professionals.  Rob’s first post on Legal Evolution, “Platform (r)evolution: how the convergence of talent and technology will reshape service organizations,” is a detailed example of how that future is likely to unfold.

Rob’s specialization is technology, particularly in areas connected to strategy, competitive advantage, and growth. 
Continue Reading Introducing regular contributor Rob Saccone (247)


A resource for those in the trenches of legal industry innovation.


Here at Legal Evolution, we like to experiment.  Thus, I was intrigued when Anusia (ah-new-sha) Gillespie suggested a NewLaw explainer series in the form of a monthly Q&A column, which debuts today. See Post 243.

Over the last several years, the term “NewLaw” has taken on a remarkably broad meaning. In its original incarnation, NewLaw was meant to convey “New points of view, new perspectives, new market offerings, new tools, new ways to manage.” George Beaton, “Who coined NewLaw?,” Remaking Law Firms, Aug 18, 2018 (quoting 2009 Kerma Partners Quarterly article by Michael Huber).
Continue Reading NewLaw Fundamentals Q&A Column with Anusia Gillespie (242)


A slice is reserved for everyone who predicts the future of law.


Today is the debut of Anusia Gillespie’s monthly Q&A column on NewLaw Fundamentals.  See Post 243.  This post (241) is an explainer on why we are running Anusia’s series. One part of the explanation is practical.  A second part is deeply analytical and likely of more interest to regular Legal Evolution readers.  Both parts, however, are rooted in the value of humility.
Continue Reading Humble pie diet (241)