Photo by BP Miller via Unsplash / Clear-sighted & pragmatic teams will win the day.

Talk of disruption dominated the last decade.  In 2021, widespread change in legal markets appears elusive.  Will this time be different?

Today’s post (219) is Part IV of #GreatExpectations for the #GreatReset, a 5-part series on


Position isn’t destiny — especially times of turmoil.  Eight charts illustrate the true extent of volatility underlying apparent stagnation in legal markets and give an advance peek at the state of play for 2021.

This post is the third in a 5-part series, #GreatExpectations for the #GreatReset.  The aim of this series is to provide a shared foundation of fact and data to help envision the market dislocations likely to occur in the current economic downturn and recovery.
Continue Reading #GreatExpectations, Part III: As the Mighty Fall, New Challengers Rise (218)

Photo by Galina N via Unsplash

Before we peer into the 🔮 crystal ball to forecast what awaits legal markets in a post-pandemic future, we first look back to the past for lessons from the last downturn – with a wider lens to better understand how the world around our industry is changing.

Now is the winter of our discontent: the worst (😧!) year (🤮!) EVER (😣!!) is finally in the rearview mirror.  Although the first stretch of the new year presages some grim days ahead, I’m doing my best to look to 2021 and beyond with hope and optimism.
Continue Reading #GreatExpectations for the #GreatReset, Part I: a Recession Retrospective and a Post-Pandemic Reckoning (216)


As the legal services market becomes more competitive, law firm strategy—or lack thereof—will have real consequences.


If we polled business school professors, all would agree that long-term strategy beats short-term strategy, at least over the long-term.  If true, the following two statements ought to be in tension with one another:

  1. The traditional law firm operating

Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

Transparency is coming to B2B commercial contracts


Markets have evolved dramatically over the centuries with the world moving from traditional markets like souks and bazaars to eCommerce.  The differences in efficiency between the two are staggering with buyers and sellers now enjoying faster transaction cycle times, lower administrative costs, and, most important, greater value derived from their purchases and sales.  A number of factors contribute to this development.
Continue Reading Competition based on better commercial contract terms (211)

Legal professional skepticism of the future value of change investment leads to underinvestment.


A first-pass look at our future.


In earlier Legal Evolution posts, I’ve shared reflections upon my career journey (080), professional evolution (143), and current area of focus (159).  This article describes an investment hypothesis for the upcoming decade focused on building the future of the practice of law [hereafter,


“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)


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)