Rather than wait for it, Microsoft’s legal team has decided to create what it needs, starting now.


Innovation is taking place in many parts of the legal ecosystem these days. Yet, as relates to legal operations inside corporate legal departments, a refreshing community of practice is starting to unfold. The camaraderie and fellowship among practitioners,


A worksheet to help innovators avoid failure


The graphic above is worksheet designed to aid the development and adoption of legal innovations. I created it for my “How Innovation Diffuses in the Legal Industry” courses at Bucerius and Northwestern Law (downloadable PDF available here). This past week, I had the opportunity to present it at LMA’s P3 Conference in Chicago.
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Godfather with his crew. From left to right: Jae Um, David Cambria, Casey Flaherty, Microsoft Trusted Advisor Forum, Sept 2018.

“If you set out to be an innovative company but don’t have or can’t create an A+ team of people, you’re just fantasizing. You really need great people.”

— Prof. Gary Pisano, Harvard Business School



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Legal Evolution is proud to welcome contributor Jason Barnwell.  Regular readers are likely to remember Jason from the detailed write-ups of Microsoft’s Trusted Advisor Forum on Innovation, see Post 068 (by me); Post 069 (epic post by Jae Um), as Jason was the person who was charged with creating and implementing this very important strategic

Photo by Louis Reed via Unsplash / Microsoft is bringing the scientific method to legal innovation.

Microsoft is pushing legal buy and provider engagement to the next level and asking their primary firms to come along. Here’s why it matters: they’re thinking bigger, committed for the long haul, and bringing a STEM mindset to legal innovation.



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Microsoft’s legal department has the talent, resources and vision.  With enough time, a “Microsoft system” could evolve that will be as influential as the original Cravath system.


I was very fortunate to be invited to the most recent Microsoft Trusted Advisor Forum, which took place on September 20 at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. The Forum featured