“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)

Jumping as metaphor for innovating


The low bar set by an insular, self-satisfied profession.


The legal profession is stymied by an innovation crisis. We lack the bold ideas, new models, and financial commitments necessary to address our acute dilemmas and deficiencies in law firm efficiency, client satisfaction, legal education, law student indebtedness, racial injustice, lack of diversity in law firms


For today’s feature post (205), Legal Evolution is pleased to welcome back guest contributor Randy Kiser, whom I’ve previously described as the “preeminent scholar of the U.S. legal profession” and the world’s leading authority on legal decision making. See Post 110 (reviewing Kiser’s scholarship and surprising career along with his most recent book,


A long-game model based on expertise, access, and trust.


This post is a deep dive into LexFusion, a new go-to-market organization founded by Joe Borstein and Paul Stroka.

Longtime readers of Legal Evolution may recall Post 034, which was a profile of the legal industry’s most skillful and accomplished team of consultative


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

Legal Evolution contributors, Summer 2020

Breadth and depth on legal innovation and the future of law.


As in prior years, after Labor Day, Legal Evolution shifts to a bi-weekly publication schedule, at least for Sunday longform content. See Post 065, 113.

Fortunately, we exit the summer of 2020 on


For today’s feature post (200), we’re pleased to welcome guest contributor Rafael Figueiredo, who currently serves as Head of Legal for Santa Fe Natural Gas, a high-growth company that buys, sell, and manages the scheduling and logistics of natural gas and hydrocarbons in the US and Mexico.

I was introduced to Rafael through Cat Moon, as Rafael is an alumnus of Vanderbilt Law’s Certificate Program in Law and Innovation.  Indeed, in talking with Rafael, he described himself as part of the first generation of general counsels who have consciously acquired a T-shaped skillset in order to create a legal department that can fully deliver for the business.
Continue Reading Guest contributor Rafael Figueiredo (199)