Legal Productivity Problem


“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)


When taught in context, one-to-many law practice is relatively simple and intuitive.


Many of my colleagues in the NewLaw elite often laugh that there’s no such thing as legal project management or data analytics for lawyers.  And I get their point.  The application of decades-old disciplines to the practice of law does not change


Big opportunities that require a big shift in mindset.


As the title plainly says, readers will find below a list of four opportunities for legal industry innovators.  But before we get to the juicy stuff—because everyone loves a list—I want to commend the source for this list: James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, & Daniel Roos, The Machine That Changed the World (1990).  It is among my favorite books in any genre and among the most durable contributions to 20th-century management literature.  It is also a fun and fascinating read.
Continue Reading Four opportunities for legal industry innovators (195)


Fortunately, there are treatments.


If you work in the legal industry, the above graph from Thomson Reuters’ 2020 Report on the State of the Legal Market should terrify you. What it shows is an industry steadily sliding towards obsolescence, not because the need for legal services is declining but because hiring a lawyer is becoming


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 Is access to justice a design problem? (099)


Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois has been thinking about this question for more than 30 years.  Often, the answer involves legaltech.


On the outside chance that the afterlife involves a meeting with St. Peter at the Pearly gates, those working for the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois (LTF) will have good story to tell. 


IFLP is proud to collaborate with the above list of innovators and early adopters.


Later this month, the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP, or “I-flip”) will celebrate its one year anniversary. Before that, it was just an idea in the minds of a few dozen lawyers, legal educators and allied professionals.  In


Innovation hype is alienating too many practicing lawyers. This is because we forgot that lawyers innovate in the realm of substantive law.  It’s time to fix that.


Last year I was at a conference on law firm innovation organized by the Ark Group. To close things out, the event’s chairperson, Patrick McKenna, walked attendees