Boomer retirements ought to be a boon for law school clinics.


The Hidden Brain podcast episode Cultivating Your Purpose begins with an effective metaphor that is well-known to aging Baby Boomers: Dustin Hoffman, playing Benjamin Braddock in “The Graduate,” is drifting aimlessly on a raft in a swimming pool, as he has been doing for weeks after graduating from college.  When Benjamin confirms to his father that he has no plans whatsoever for the future, Benjamin’s father leans over him and demands to know “what was the point of all of that hard work?” Benjamin responds, “you got me.”  Unfortunately, many Baby Boom lawyers are asking themselves the same question after they retire or approach retirement—“what’s the point?”
Continue Reading Could a purpose deficit fill unmet legal need? (273)


Putting complex and often intimidating topics into context.


Chapter 8, Technology

No discussion on contracting process improvements is complete without focusing on technology. Scarcely a day goes by without an article, blog, or webinar on legal technology and, more specifically, about artificial intelligence (AI). There are many conferences and webinars about contract management systems—on selecting them, on what to use them for, how to derive greatest benefit, etc. Usually, those educational programs are provided or delivered by the contract management systems providers.

Technology is always at the core of any discussion about innovation, for example, but I maintain it should not be. Before any conversation about technology takes place, there should be an assessment of the current state of the people and processes involved in contracting, which is why this chapter follows my previous chapters on People and Process. Only after a thorough review takes place, and there is agreement within the organization that the right people are doing the right steps in the best order, should a discussion about technology begin.
Continue Reading CLM Simplified Part IV: Technology, Metrics & Data, and Outsourcing (272)


The hard work that comes before any discussion of technology


Chapter 5, Playbooks

The need for creating playbooks for templated contracts is a subject of much discussion. This is because playbooks are one of the ways in which contracting is simplified. But they can take many forms. Luckily, distinguishing and differentiating between the necessary types of playbooks is possible without creating too much complexity. Not only are they used to create standardization across a law department, but they also empower the business.

Playbooks educate, create consistency, and are an absolute requirement for any type of outsourcing contract review. I submit for your consideration that there are two basic types of playbooks: The Law Department Playbook and the Empowerment Guide.
Continue Reading CLM Simplified Part III: Playbooks, People, and Process (271)

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“Contracts are the lifeline of the company, so it’s no wonder it is an ongoing cycle.”


Chapter 2, What is CLM?

The term contract lifecycle management (CLM) is a hotly discussed topic in legal operations and legal technology circles. It is important to dissect the concept and understand what precisely I am referring to, especially in trying to tackle and improve the contracting lifecycle.
Continue Reading CLM Simplified Part II: What is CLM?, Legal Policy Review, Templates (270)


“This book is designed specifically for legal teams to become the lean, mean contracting machines that the business needs.” p 12.


[Editor’s note:  This is a four-part series that excerpts Lucy Bassli’s new book, CLM Simplified. Part I is Bassli’s full Introduction.  Part II excerpts What is CLM?, Legal Policy Review, and Templates (Ch 2-4). Part III excerpts Playbooks, People, and Process (Ch 5-7). Part IV excerpts Technology, Metrics & Data, and Outsourcing (Ch 8-10).
Continue Reading CLM Simplified Part I: Introduction (269)


Collecting data to evaluate how they work together


The relationship between different business functions and legal teams is fundamental to the speed, adaptability, and value achieved within their individual functions and, by proxy, the organization itself. But what is that relationship like?
Continue Reading Survey on the intersection of Legal & Business (268)


Trading ego for effectiveness, friendship, and purpose.


Joe Borstein and Paul Stroka asked me to get naked with them. I said yes. Then Bill asked me to write about it. So here we are.

Now that you’re hooked by the clickbait headline and the tease, we must, naturally, commence with an anecdotal aside before I explain why the platitudinous “our customers are our business” is especially true for LexFusion, why “everyone talks to us because everyone talks to us,” and what these say about the evolution of the  broader legal innovation ecosystem.
Continue Reading Getting naked with colleagues and clients (267)


In this week’s feature post (267), we are pleased to welcome guest contributor Casey Flaherty, who explains why the “getting naked” approach to consultative sales is the perfect model to solve the decision overload faced by time-starved legal professionals.

I have great admiration for Flaherty, primarily because he is a true expert at mining economic, business, and scientific concepts for insights that improve the efficiency and quality of legal service delivery.  Yet, Post 267 reveals even more depth and range, as Casey ventures into the realm of fear and insecurity that lies beneath virtually every ambitious knowledge worker.
Continue Reading Guest contributor Casey Flaherty (266)


A law firm with best-in-class ALSP features


I have written before about how the lines between legal service providers are blurring, see, e.g., Lucien Pera & Yvonne Nath, “What If… Chambers Ranks Law Firms Alongside ALSPs?,” Law.com, Aug 20, 2020 (discussing implications of Chambers issuing its first ranking of ALSPs), and I especially enjoy singling out particular NewLaw business models for a closer inspection to show you exactly what I mean, see, e.g., The Post-Pandemic Law Firm (forthcoming Nov 2021).

Today, I feature Radiant Law (with which I have no affiliation).
Continue Reading Radiant Law: a closer look (265)


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)