Scenes from my pre-law life and careers

Doing my best to make sense of the experience.


In October 2019, I was in the first session of his Innovation Diffusion in the Legal Industry class at Northwestern Law.  I was puzzled because I couldn’t figure why Professor Henderson, who was 16 years my senior (I am 41, he is 57), was openly acknowledging that the legal service market was remarkably inefficient. He claimed that much of the business of law was held together by perceptions of eliteness and pedigree rather than the objective and reliable measures of talent, ability, and productivity.  And he backed it up with data from both the past and present.

The source of my initial confusion was not that I disagreed with Professor Henderson in any way. Rather I was surprised to have an industry insider validate my observations that legal education and the legal profession suffered from a terrible case of faulty groupthink.
Continue Reading Fourth-generation blue-collar worker from Chicago wanders into an elite law school … (177)

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One-to-many legal solutions are built by teams of multidisciplinary professionals. It’s time to build a legal talent supply chain.


The above graphic is a map of the human capital needed to create “one-to-many” legal solutions (Human Capital Map).  It’s a dense graphic on a complex topic. To explain its structure and the key insights it provides, I’ll cover the following topics:
Continue Reading Human capital for one-to-many legal solutions (126)

Marcus Arnold and Michael Lewis, © Capital Pictures

In this post, I tell an old Michael Lewis story that bears on the law. Remarkably, most of the insights come from a 15-year-old boy named Marcus Arnold, pictured above with Lewis circa 2001.  I then review the U.K.’s journey to market liberalization, including the repeal of the British version of Model Rule 5.4.  
Continue Reading Pyramids, Pancakes, and Rule 5.4 (106)


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.
Continue Reading Scoring your innovation (098)