When data drives growth, that’s a Hollywood ending. So where are the Moneyball sequels?


The graphic above tracks demographic representation across 12 law firms working for BASF Corporation, 2016 to 2021. On average, shares of BASF work grew +11% for diverse ethnicity partners and +46% for associates. For women, shares grew +24% for partners and +28% for associates. Additionally (not pictured), ethnicity and gender representation in firmwide leadership grew +10%.

What explains this blockbuster growth? To me, it’s the courageous leaders using data to achieve a shared mission.
Continue Reading Leading courageously with data (302)


A. Innovation methodologies are used to create novel experiments meant to improve DEI in legal, but more significantly, systems innovation creates an opportunity to advance DEI as a critical feature of the next epoch and not an afterthought.


I begin this post with a disclaimer: I’m a woman in law. I’m not racially diverse, or otherwise so. While I have an education and appreciation of the myriad DEI issues in the profession and broader society, I do not have a personal understanding beyond my own gendered experience. I speak only for myself from my place of understanding, with the best intentions towards empowering all people to flourish through equitable systems.

Q: “Wait, is this a Diversity initiative or an Innovation initiative?”

A: “It’s both.”
Continue Reading Q: How does innovation intersect with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in law? (298)


All law schools have what they need to achieve this important goal.


[Editor’s note:  Many law schools are doing innovative things these days, yet it’s hard to overcome the narrative that nothing in legal education ever changes.  I’m often reminded of this fact when I discover important and thoughtful innovations by my own colleagues at Maurer Law.   Legal Evolution is publishing this “how-to” piece on diversifying adjunct faculty to help scale a working solution to an important problem.  By the way, Legal Evolution will definitely consider essays on innovations at other law schools. wdh]

One continuing challenge for law schools is to improve faculty diversity, particularly for schools located in non-urban areas.  This short essay describes how a collaborative strategy at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, which is located in Bloomington, leverages alumni talents across the country to expand opportunities to hire a highly accomplished and diverse adjunct faculty.
Continue Reading Building and sustaining a diverse adjunct faculty (291)

Lindy’s Delicatessen, 51st & Broadway, NYC (credit: Bertil Carlson, via Wikimedia Commons)

Yes. The Cravath System. The case method.  And much more.


Here’s the technical definition of the “Lindy effect“: The robustness of an idea or technology (anything nonperishable) is proportional to its longevity.

This post examines how we can observe the Lindy effect in many facets of life, including law.  Some of these are obvious, like the Cravath System and the Langdellian case method, which are both in their second century and show no signs of fading.  But are there durable aspects of life and business we are overlooking because, rather foolishly, we’re favoring what is novel, shiny, and hyped?
Continue Reading Does the Lindy effect apply to law? (244)


Diversity is indeed associated with higher law firm profits.  To accept this fact, the profession needs to understand why.


Figure 1 above reports expected changes in average partner compensation at different levels of racial diversity among attorneys in large law firms.  These results come from an “all else equal” model that accounts for differences in a multitude of other relevant factors, such as geography, leverage, and firm prestige.

The key takeaway? Within the large firm market, firms with higher shares of Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Multiracial attorneys (“diverse attorneys”) are paying their partners higher average levels of compensation—at about a $260K premium for the firms with the highest diverse representation.
Continue Reading Nothing not to like: diversity and law firm profitability (238)

Photo by Florian Klauer via Unsplash

The pandemic upended the workplace as we know it.  What does the future of work hold for the legal industry? 


Recently, I left a great job.  I did it without another job lined up, in the middle of a global pandemic and record levels of unemployment.  Many people have been kind enough to ask what’s next and a few have asked why I would do such a thing.  After some internal debate, I decided to explain both on Legal Evolution.
Continue Reading Why and how I’m unbundling my career (224)


How legal services will be evaluated in 2021 and beyond


NewLaw is not what you think it is.  It is not a label to be applied only to new companies with trendy names.  It is a business model that any legal services provider can, in theory, adopt.  Cf. Post 055 (discussing clear evidence that “legal operations is a discipline” for buyers and sellers of legal services and thus not just a role within a legal department). But, while new companies built for it, others have to overcome how they created themselves in the first place.
Continue Reading Metrics of the NewLaw Model (206)


It’s also compounding racial inequality. The story in ten charts.


My fundraising work for the Institute for the Future of Law Practice has required me to delve into the equities of modern legal education, particularly around the debt loads and employment prospects of historically underrepresented groups.  This is because virtually all potential benefactors want diversity

General counsel exert an outsized influence on the legal market.  Through the open letter below, some of them are taking the long view by trying to influence the health and vitality of the legal talent supply chain. They are looking for other general counsel to join them.

Want to make a difference?  Encourage your general