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.
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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.
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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.
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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

Photo by Sagar via Unsplash / Like all complex ecosystems, the legal industry and its problems are interdependent and connected.

Disillusionment abounds and frustrations run high in the legal industry: nearly all signals scream at us to innovate faster. Inspire.Legal flipped the script by asking us to stop, collaborate and listen.

Godfather with his crew. From left to right: Jae Um, David Cambria, Casey Flaherty, Microsoft Trusted Advisor Forum, Sept 2018.

“If you set out to be an innovative company but don’t have or can’t create an A+ team of people, you’re just fantasizing. You really need great people.”

— Prof. Gary Pisano, Harvard Business School



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Microsoft’s legal department has the talent, resources and vision.  With enough time, a “Microsoft system” could evolve that will be as influential as the original Cravath system.


I was very fortunate to be invited to the most recent Microsoft Trusted Advisor Forum, which took place on September 20 at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. The Forum featured