Some realism on the regulatory reform movement


Imagine a legal sector neatly divided into two groups: the Rule Makers and the Risk Takers.  With evidence piling up that the legal market is not working for ordinary citizens, the Rule Makers come together to evaluate possible changes. After the new rules are enacted, the burden shifts to the Risk Takers to build out workable solutions.

If we apply this simple model to the US legal sector, it appears that the Rule Makers are struggling to deliver, as the most high-profile liberalization efforts at the state and national levels are now being shelved or slow-walked. See, e.g., Cheryl Miller, “California State Bar Puts Brakes on Proposed ‘Regulatory Sandbox,’” Am. Law., Mar. 13, 2020 (citing “political headwinds” as reason for tabling ATILS Task Force recommendations); Brenda Sapino Jeffreys, “ABA Approves Innovation Resolution, With Revisions to Limit Regulatory Changes,” Law.com, Feb. 17, 2020 (discussing passage of watered down resolution that disavowed any changes to nonlawyer ownership or the unauthorized practice of law).
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Legal Ops is a discipline for both buyers and sellers of legal services


Today Legal Evolution is delighted to welcome David Cunningham, Chief Information Officer at Winston & Strawn.  I met David several years ago at the CLOC Institute when I asked Connie Brenton for the names of folks working in law firms who were embracing the legal operations movement. The first name she mentioned was David Cunningham. 
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In British Columbia, barriers related to cost, language, education and physical location have fallen to the wayside.


Several years ago, if someone asked me how to solve the U.S. access to justice problem, I would have replied, “more government funding, more generous philanthropy, and more pro bono hours from lawyers.”  With these greater inputs, a lawyer would be available to every citizen needing to access the legal system.  Almost as a reflex, I suspect a large number of my lawyer peers would have given the same answer.
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Innovators and early adopters come together to discuss human capital in the emerging one-to-many legal economy — a great opportunity for law students and career service professionals.


In Tomorrow’s Lawyers, Richard Susskind predicts the emergence of several new jobs for lawyers, including the legal knowledge engineer, the legal technologist, the legal hybrid, the legal

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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