NewLaw Fundamentals Q&A


Answer: Be the relevant, accurate, and practical colleague


You may have noticed that I’m not one for hype and fantastical projections meant to scare actors into action. It is critical for credibility in emerging spaces to ground the noise back into reality. The key to becoming a trusted NewLaw and legal innovation advisor is to make it all very practical.

This “wait a minute, here” fire lit inside me after a doomsday litigation presentation at a conference a few years ago. After telling a room of litigation partners that they were going to be automated out of business in the next few years and thus needed the presenter’s services, it was my turn to take the stage.
Continue Reading NewLaw can be overwhelming.  How can I make it less so for the benefit of my team? (278)


Short answer: From you. So let’s turn it into a positive.


It is that time of year, when 1Ls are starting to think about and explore job opportunities for summer 2022. They research the legal market online and engage through social media, but generally rely on their law school career resources to usher them into the legal world.

But, with a few exceptions, law students must rely on you — the person on the front lines of modern law practice — to help them understand where and how NewLaw will be an integral part of their futures.

Personally, I make myself available to law students about career questions for two reasons.
Continue Reading Where are law students learning about NewLaw? (274)


Q. In the simplest terms possible, what is the core functionality of AI in legal?


It often seems that most of the legal profession thinks that AI is a box of pixie dust that you can sprinkle over any data set with the right incantation and voila, produce your desired result.

Most lawyers are confused about Artificial Intelligence (AI). While typically experts at adopting new language and using it correctly in context to convey sophistication around concepts not squarely in their wheelhouses, AI tends to be the exception. As evident in industry conversations, the confusion boils down to what AI does, and how, as applied to legal practice.

We should clear this up.  To do so, let’s take all the sex and rock n’ roll out of it, and strip AI to its core…
Continue Reading Brass tacks re: Artificial Intelligence in legal (264)


So we’re gonna change too.


In last month’s column (Post 253), we defined NewLaw as a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed. Thus, it is reasonable to ask …

Q.  Why do we need a different approach?

It may seem the old ways are working just fine. Law firms are making money, clients are delivering services to their businesses, the wheels keep turning. And if ain’t broke, don’t fix it … right?
Continue Reading The needs of clients are changing (258)


A. NewLaw is a mindset.


NewLaw is a mindset. It is a movement. NewLaw’s enemy is the adage: “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Whether coined by Eric Chin, see Post 242, or Jordan Furlong, see Furlong, “An Incomplete Inventory of New Law,” Law21, May 13, 2014, the original definition circa 2013 was: “any model, process, or tool that represents a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed.”
Continue Reading Q. What is NewLaw? (253)


A. Using the wrong approach to innovation, followed by an effective one-by-one approach that did not scale.


The biggest mistake that I made as the US innovation lead at a global law firm was in trying to teach lawyers how to “do” innovation—how to do my job.  My intention was to empower them with NewLaw resources to better solve legal and business of law challenges for their clients.  I felt privileged to have this magic wand of innovation, of robust problem-solving, to offer them.  But I chose the wrong method at the outset.  And, unfortunately for my mandate, intention does not equal perception.
Continue Reading Q. What has been your biggest mistake as an innovation lead? (243)


A resource for those in the trenches of legal industry innovation.


Here at Legal Evolution, we like to experiment.  Thus, I was intrigued when Anusia (ah-new-sha) Gillespie suggested a NewLaw explainer series in the form of a monthly Q&A column, which debuts today. See Post 243.

Over the last several years, the term “NewLaw” has taken on a remarkably broad meaning. In its original incarnation, NewLaw was meant to convey “New points of view, new perspectives, new market offerings, new tools, new ways to manage.” George Beaton, “Who coined NewLaw?,” Remaking Law Firms, Aug 18, 2018 (quoting 2009 Kerma Partners Quarterly article by Michael Huber).
Continue Reading NewLaw Fundamentals Q&A Column with Anusia Gillespie (242)