Several in-house innovators are converging on a set of best practices.


In Competition based on better commercial contract terms (211), I reviewed the current norms surrounding commercial contracting and postulated that the growing transparency regarding what is market for a particular term would cause the market for contracts to evolve from its current souk-like state to something that more closely resembles a modern e-commerce marketplace.  Since that post came out in December 2020, numerous companies have been employing AI tools such as TermScout. and crowd-sourced data such as Bonterms, to make their contracting practices more data-driven.
Continue Reading The emergence of data-driven contracting: notes from the field (292)


All law schools have what they need to achieve this important goal.


[Editor’s note:  Many law schools are doing innovative things these days, yet it’s hard to overcome the narrative that nothing in legal education ever changes.  I’m often reminded of this fact when I discover important and thoughtful innovations by my own colleagues at Maurer Law.   Legal Evolution is publishing this “how-to” piece on diversifying adjunct faculty to help scale a working solution to an important problem.  By the way, Legal Evolution will definitely consider essays on innovations at other law schools. wdh]

One continuing challenge for law schools is to improve faculty diversity, particularly for schools located in non-urban areas.  This short essay describes how a collaborative strategy at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, which is located in Bloomington, leverages alumni talents across the country to expand opportunities to hire a highly accomplished and diverse adjunct faculty.
Continue Reading Building and sustaining a diverse adjunct faculty (291)

Congrats,  associates!  Don’t spend it all in one place.

Cravath & Davis Polk associates are raking it in, and everyone’s got an opinion.  Here’s some data to explain how & why the new associate pay scale is a rational move in a functioning market.


Earlier this week, Cravath made waves at every trade media outlet with their 2022 salary scale:

Cravath’s announcement came on the heels of Milbank and Davis Polk each raising the stakes in the ongoing war for associate talent.  (See “Milbank Ups Associate Salaries to $215,000 in War for Talent (2),” Bloomberg Law, January 20, 2022, and “Davis Polk ups senior associate salaries in latest round of pay war,” Reuters, February 22, 2022.).  Before the close of the week, a flurry of memos followed, with a predictable roster of prestige firms matching the new top-of-market scale: Davis Polk, Paul Weiss, Kirkland, Latham, Simpson Thacher, Quinn, Skadden, Debevoise, Ropes, Shearman, Covington, White & Case, Sidley, Paul Hastings, McDermott, Boies Schiller, among others.  (See “Salary Wars Scorecard: Firms That Have Announced Raises (2022),” Above the Law, updated March 4, 2022).

Notably, Milbank has yet to respond to despite racing to first mover position in 2018 and again this year.  Also notably, Morgan Lewis is prudently sitting out the betting rounds, with a promise to monitor and match the prevailing scale once set.
Continue Reading #BadData, Part II: As the War for Talent Rages On, Let the Sorting Begin (290)


This post is a digest of an important new article on the digital transformation of legal departments.


Me:  [Enthusiastically sharing new NewLaw literature with a friend.]

Friend:  “My first reaction is…that’s a lot of pages!”

It is a lot of pages. It is also critical reading, even for the newly acquainted. For those who want the bottom line without all of the pages, this digest is for you.
Continue Reading Q. What is digital transformation? A primer for legal professionals (289)


“Be engaged, interested in what others have to say. It’s more important to listen than to speak.”


I had the opportunity to discuss legal outsourcing with Colin Levy, who embodies the skills and mindset of the modern T-shaped legal professional.

Colin and I work on opposite ends of the spectrum: he’s an attorney who’s experienced first-hand how outsourcing to an ALSP can impact his career and place of employment. In contrast, I have expertise in helping law firms find and work with ALSPs. When law firms or legal departments choose to outsource to ALSPs, often, no jobs are lost. However, sometimes an ALSP can replace certain functions. I thought it would be interesting to hear one attorney’s perspective on whether ALSPs are a threat to attorney job security in the legal industry.

Below are notes from our discussion.
Continue Reading Legal careers in the age of outsourcing: A conversation with Colin Levy (288)


Improving the legal system requires state supreme courts to fully accept their role as regulators.


For the sake of this post, let’s assume the following statement is true:  Once every 100 years or so, the jurists who preside over the highest courts in the land are obligated to evaluate the functioning of the legal system and, if necessary, make structural changes that will improve access, efficiency, and justice for the citizens they serve.

Two interrelated challenges follow.  First, how do the jurists decide if structural changes are necessary?  Second, how do the jurists find the time and acquire the expertise to carry out such a large and complex project?
Continue Reading State supreme courts and the challenges of PeopleLaw (287)


A. Because it requires us to evolve our culture.


The building blocks to create the next level of Legal are now available, so why aren’t we “there” yet?

In this month’s NewLaw column, I suggest that Legal’s modernization journey is cultural as well as technological.  Indeed, without the evolution of our culture, our innovation efforts are destined to frustrate and underwhelm our key stakeholders.
Continue Reading Q. Why aren’t we “there” yet in modernizing Legal? (286)

[click on to enlarge]

The legal profession appears to be on autopilot.


This post is for legal market analysts who are looking for updated and reliable data on the current legal services market. Collectively, its eight graphics reveal several themes that ought to give us pause, as we (the legal profession) may not have unlimited runaway to focus on strategies related to income and profit.

Most of the underlying data come from the Economic Census, which is a detailed ongoing survey of US businesses conducted every five years (years ending in 2 and 7) by the US Census Bureau.  Because of the size and scope of the data collection effort (it’s a census, not a sampling), it takes the full five-year cycle to complete the analysis and release the findings. The final—and in my view, the most interesting—installments were published last fall.
Continue Reading Eight updated graphics on the US legal services market (285)


An emerging role in legal tech companies that ties together sales, marketing, and customer success.


At Legal Evolution, we often return to the above “five stages of evolution” graphic as a reminder that the legal industry has entered a period of profound tumult and uncertainty.

The tumult is driven by the cost, quality, and service delivery advantages of systematized & packaged legal solutions, which has set off a gold rush in legal tech. See Post 255 (Zach Abramowitz tracking legal tech investment).  The uncertainty is driven by the need for new business models combined with the lack of established, sales channels that enable end-users to buy with confidence.  Cf Post 279 (Jae Um observing that legal vertical is composed of multiple markets that are both fluid and segmented in nonobvious ways).

Well, what about solutions—is anything on the horizon?
Continue Reading How Chief Revenue Officers are making legal tech better (284)


Data gives us the opportunity to be proactive in litigation, reducing costs, speeding up resolutions, and improving outcomes. But first, we need a strategy.


My name is Jennifer Buser, Anusia Gillespie’s colleague.  For those of you expecting Anusia, she’s at home in Miami enjoying maternity leave with her spouse and newborn son, Raphael Brye Gillespie. Although Anusia is a true pro with columns drafted far in advance, she thought it was important to model good work-life boundaries.

In addition to being happy for Anusia, I am pleased and honored to be her substitute columnist for this month’s edition of NewLaw Fundamentals.
Continue Reading Digital Litigation: Solving a C-Suite pain point (283)