“It is no exaggeration to say that the Restatement of the common law is the most difficult as well as the most important public work ever undertaken without the aid of government by the legal profession in this or any other country.”  William Draper Lewis, “Present Status of the American Law Institute,” 11 NYU L Rev 337, 343 (1929).

This essay is about the importance and value of building shared “legal infrastructure,” which is a term coined by the eminent economist and law professor Gillian Hadfield in her book, Rules for a Flat World (2017).
Continue Reading Legal infrastructure and the forgotten story of the Restatements (207)


A long-game model based on expertise, access, and trust.


This post is a deep dive into LexFusion, a new go-to-market organization founded by Joe Borstein and Paul Stroka.

Longtime readers of Legal Evolution may recall Post 034, which was a profile of the legal industry’s most skillful and accomplished team of consultative


For today’s feature post (200), we’re pleased to welcome guest contributor Rafael Figueiredo, who currently serves as Head of Legal for Santa Fe Natural Gas, a high-growth company that buys, sell, and manages the scheduling and logistics of natural gas and hydrocarbons in the US and Mexico.

I was introduced to Rafael through Cat Moon, as Rafael is an alumnus of Vanderbilt Law’s Certificate Program in Law and Innovation.  Indeed, in talking with Rafael, he described himself as part of the first generation of general counsels who have consciously acquired a T-shaped skillset in order to create a legal department that can fully deliver for the business.
Continue Reading Guest contributor Rafael Figueiredo (199)


Right now, adoption is more important than invention.


We are at the end of the beginning of one of the most terrifying periods in modern economic history.  An unexpected outside event has created massive unemployment, acute under-production, and isolated instances of tragic over-production all at once.  We are creating a fiscal crisis and waiting for

Photo by Markus Spiske via Unsplash

The last decade saw a sustained uptick in funding into the legal vertical. So what is all that capital accomplishing? Quite a lot, actually.


The legal industry is full of opinions – and so it is full of noise. In 2019, 🤦‍♂️ facepalming and 🙄 eyerolling at innovation hype is still very much in vogue, and so a lot of the noise is 😒 negative 😠 in tone.

Amidst all the noise, though, I see very clear signals of meaningful change.
Continue Reading The Current State of Play in Legal Innovation: A New Era of Evolution in the Making (109)


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 Is just-in-time training for lawyers a good business? (102)


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 Scoring your innovation (098)


A case study extracts the key lessons from a single success or failure. A career study strings the cases together, looking for deeper and more fundamental patterns.


This essay is a career study of Robert Meltzer, a highly successful legaltech entrepreneur who is not famous or well-known in legaltech circles, primarily because his success