Institute for the Future of Law Practice


Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.


Nothing I have read over the last several years haunts me as much as the following line from Gillian Hadfield: “People who feel as though the rules don’t care about them don’t care about the rules.”  Rules for a Flat World at 79 (2017).

When I first read those words, I can remember thinking, “this explains the 2016 presidential election,” though the name Donald Trump appears nowhere in the book. Likewise, for the next four years, Professor Hadfield’s observation offered a remarkably concise explanation for the public’s growing indifference to democratic norms, democratic institutions, and the Rule of Law. Then the events of January 6th offered a disturbing punctuation point.
Continue Reading Just not good enough (226)


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

bio card for Elmer Thoreson


[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 Elmer Thoreson, after three weeks at the IFLP Boot Camp at Northwestern Law in the spring of 2018, he


TermScout is a direct outgrowth of the IFLP ecosystem.


We formed the Institute for the Future of Law Practice and its predecessor, the Tech Lawyer Accelerator (collectively “IFLP”), to test a number of concepts about legal education.

One such concept involved seeing whether an appropriately designed law program could duplicate the results of a leading


We have a rare opportunity for a large immediate impact on the legal sector. Let’s not miss the boat.


It’s now ten years since I became aware of Professor Bill Henderson and his efforts to evolve the legal profession, and roughly eight years since Bill invited me to join a small group called the Skin


A story for the New Year.  Maybe you can relate.


I recently turned 57 years old.  Although I am dismayed and disappointed by many things happening in our republic, and impatient with an industry, profession and educational complex that is supposed to operate in the public interest, whatever quantum of cynicism I possessed went away in 2019. Moreover, it happened quickly, albeit many of the pieces were put into place more a decade ago.
Continue Reading Losing my cynicism (131)


Innovation hype is alienating too many practicing lawyers. This is because we forgot that lawyers innovate in the realm of substantive law.  It’s time to fix that.


Last year I was at a conference on law firm innovation organized by the Ark Group. To close things out, the event’s chairperson, Patrick McKenna, walked attendees