Photo of Bill Henderson


Our profession evolves through people. Some are stepping up.


Everyday, when I am paying attention, the world is nudging me to let go of something wrong and unhelpful. A friend of mine calls it “dropping the rock.”  The rock is an assumption about how the world operates that can’t be reconciled with an honest evaluation of facts and experience.
Continue Reading


Culture. Character. Practices. Systems.


When it comes to empirical research on lawyers, we’re all lightweights compared to Randall Kiser.  Over the last decade, Kiser has authored books on lawyer decision making in the context of litigation, Beyond Right and Wrong (2010), the mindset and work habits of trial lawyers who consistently outperform their peers, How Leading Lawyers Think (2011), and an empirically grounded analysis of the skills and behaviors needed to build a successful legal career, Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer (2017).
Continue Reading


A legal technologist who can write


In May, I published Post 092, which provided guidelines for guest contributors.  My primary goal — or more accurately, highest hope — was to find a few professionals who possessed the communication skills to explain very technical but important topics to Legal Evolution readers, particularly in areas related to legal technology.
Continue Reading

Marcus Arnold and Michael Lewis, © Capital Pictures

In this post, I tell an old Michael Lewis story that bears on the law. Remarkably, most of the insights come from a 15-year-old boy named Marcus Arnold, pictured above with Lewis circa 2001.  I then review the U.K.’s journey to market liberalization, including the repeal of the British version of Model Rule 5.4.  
Continue Reading


This week, we are fortunate to have a special guest contribution from Jason Moyse, a very talented legal innovator and entrepreneur based in Toronto.  After cutting his teeth as a legal counsel and program manager at Xerox Canada, Jason has been an active participant in some North America’s and the UK’s most interesting and important legal innovation projects, including LawMade (principal), MDR Lab (advisory board), Trustbot (advisory board), CodeX (fellow), Elevate Services (Manager, Legal Business Solutions), and the MarS LegalX cluster team (industry lead).

In early June, Jason travelled to Redmond, Washington to serve as outsider chronicler of Microsoft’s Trusted Advisor Forum. 
Continue Reading


The answer appears to be yes. A deep dive into Hotshot.


For many of us, success is partially a function of being at the right place at the right time.  Yet, this type of luck often has even larger second-order effects, such as the ability to see new and emerging business opportunities.  Indeed, this is how I see the careers of Ian Nelson and Chris Wedgeworth, who were part of the sales team that helped Practical Law Company (PLC) enter and dominate the U.S. market.
Continue Reading

Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

Post 100 is Henderson’s opinion. It’s also a note to introduce Jordan Couch’s essay on the Washington State Bar.


The U.S. legal profession is suffering from an enormous leadership vacuum.  As a collective group, the lawyers with the most stature and gravitas — law school deans, managing partners of prestigious firms, GC of major companies, state and federal judges — are failing to step up, largely because each has a day job that is all consuming. As a result, profits per partner climb, in-house lawyers get their bonus, law schools hang onto their US News ranking, and the courts make it through another challenging fiscal year. But collectively, we have very few establishment leaders exhorting us to evolve in the public interest. That’s a vacuum.
Continue Reading


In British Columbia, barriers related to cost, language, education and physical location have fallen to the wayside.


Several years ago, if someone asked me how to solve the U.S. access to justice problem, I would have replied, “more government funding, more generous philanthropy, and more pro bono hours from lawyers.”  With these greater inputs, a lawyer would be available to every citizen needing to access the legal system.  Almost as a reflex, I suspect a large number of my lawyer peers would have given the same answer.
Continue Reading


A worksheet to help innovators avoid failure


The graphic above is worksheet designed to aid the development and adoption of legal innovations. I created it for my “How Innovation Diffuses in the Legal Industry” courses at Bucerius and Northwestern Law (downloadable PDF available here). This past week, I had the opportunity to present it at LMA’s P3 Conference in Chicago.
Continue Reading