Law firm innovation takes many forms. We need a tool to de-risk and demystify the process.


The above graphic is the Maker’s Matrix©, which is a tool I created to more efficiently categorize, prioritize, and resource innovation projects.  This is because innovation in law firms is a nascent field with lots of hype and headlines but remarkably little structure.  See, e.g., Bruce MacEwen, “Who’s your Chief Innovation Officer, ” Adam Smith, Esq., Nov. 13, 2019.  That’s okay, though.  I’m happy for the opportunity to figure it out.
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[click on to enlarge]

One-to-many legal solutions are built by teams of multidisciplinary professionals. It’s time to build a legal talent supply chain.


The above graphic is a map of the human capital needed to create “one-to-many” legal solutions (Human Capital Map).  It’s a dense graphic on a complex topic. To explain its structure and the key insights it provides, I’ll cover the following topics:
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“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”    — Albert Einstein


The members of the Delta Model working group imagine a world, not too far off, where law schools, legal employers and clients all share a common touchstone for lawyer development.  For the last two years, we’ve been working on such a touchstone, which we call the Delta Model.  Our current version is expressed in the graphic above.
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No matter what happens, we’re all going to learn something.


In 2014, I was invited to lunch with Joe Andrew, the chairman of Dentons, in his DC office.  The invitation came from John Fernandez, an Indiana Law alum who joined Dentons a couple of years earlier after two decades in government.  Joe and John came up through the ranks together in Indiana Democratic politics, with Andrew eventually becoming Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party (from 1995-1999) and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1999-2001).
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Source: Randall Kiser, DecisionSet

American law firms are threatened by acute needs and limited capabilities in three domains: leadership, meaning, and service.


Media attention shifts rapidly from law firm profitability to gender bias and from technology to new lateral partners. Yet, if we pull back to conduct a deeper analysis, what we observe is a law firm sector grappling with three interrelated threats that are seldom the focus of sustained attention:  insufficient leadership, attorneys’ lack of meaning and purpose in their work, and client service. As shown in the above graphic, these three domains are the linchpins of law firm performance and sustainability.
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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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Source: Salesforce

Legal technology platforms, including PaaS, explained.


When you’re closing in on the end of your second decade doing something, as I am in the legal technology field, you’re going to experience many transformations.  And I think it’s safe to say that, in the field of technology, the pace of change is not dissimilar to the springtime waters of the Copper River in Alaska when salmon swim into the rushing rapids — a lot of effort to travel a short distance to achieve a critically important goal.
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