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)

Source: ABA Profile of the Legal Profession ch. 1 (2020)

Fulfilling work can be found in legal deserts.


There are numerous reports of the problems presented by the decline of the number of primary-care physicians in the United States. The overwhelming majority of med school students understandably gravitates towards the high-paying specialty residencies. The ABA’s recent “Profile of the Legal Profession 2020” report, which includes a chapter on “legal deserts,” caused me to think about the legal profession’s similar problem—the decline of the primary-care lawyer.
Continue Reading In praise of the primary-care lawyer (194)


The data exist to make legal education measurably better.


Figure 1 above uses data from the 2020 Law School Survey of Student of Engagement (LSSSE) to visualize 10 average score “distributions” based on responses from 12,969 law students at 68 participating U.S. law schools. The distributions are at the law school level. Thus, for all ten measures, each participating law school’s average score exists somewhere within the orange-yellow-grey-blue-green distribution.  The grey is the fat part of the underlying bell curve (25-75th percentiles).  In addition, each Figure 1 measure maps to one or more of the ABA’s Accreditation Standards (see references in brackets).
Continue Reading What is an excellent legal education? Answers based on data (193)

Dinners, field trips, and social events connected with IU Maurer NY Externship Program [click on to enlarge]

Building relationships while opening doors for the next generation.


Breaking into a large competitive market is not easy, particularly for those with no local connections. Yet, for those of us on the inside, it is just as important to maintain and grow our network, including the next generation of up-and-coming professionals.

Professor Henderson has invited me to tell the story about how a program I created at IU Maurer Law serves both needs, creating a community of law graduates with a common set of values and real staying power. Hopefully, this is useful to alumni at other law schools who are looking for an opportunity to make a difference.
Continue Reading An alumni community in action (192)


There’s a lot of cool things happening in legal innovation these days, though not all of it is high tech.  Thus, over this summer, I’ve made an effort to publish content that has nothing to do with data, process, or technology but a lot to do with lawyers living their professional values and trying to make a difference. See, e.g., Post 166 (Lori Mihalich-Levin writing about efforts to improve the attorney-parent experience); Post 181 (Neil Hamilton bringing the competency-based medical education movement to a legal audience).

Today’s guest contributor, Terrance Stroud, very much fits that mold. 
Continue Reading Guest contributor Terrance Stroud (191)

“You’ve got your work cut out for you” by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

“There are only two ways for a manager to improve the output of an employee: motivation and training.”

— Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things (2014) at 110.

Several years ago, I had the good fortune of having dinner with David Burgess, the Publishing Director of The Legal 500, a global research company that compiles detailed rankings of law firms based on jurisdiction and practice area.
Continue Reading Lawyers and teamwork, Part I: Motivation (188)


Professionalism is plotting a major comeback.


With each passing week, it’s becoming clearer that many state bars and supreme courts are getting serious about regulatory reform.  One of the many fruits in this effort is the above presentation, which I encourage readers to review and download.

The presentation was prepared by Alice Mine and


[Editor’s note: The IFLP archives include several student profiles that document the impact of the program on students’ lives.  With the students’ permission, the IFLP leadership team wanted to share these with a broader audience. Regarding Trezell Ragas, after three weeks at the IFLP Boot Camp at Colorado Law in the spring of 2019, she went on to a 7-month field placement in the Cummins legal department followed by a summer split between PNC legal department and Ballard Spahr. Trezell credits IFLP for opening these doors. wdh.]


Looking at the LinkedIn profile of Trezell Ragas, you’d hardly believe she’s just beginning her career.
Continue Reading 2019 IFLP Alum Trezell Ragas (186)