Northwestern University, Pritzker School of Law

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This last fall, I began updating the Legal Services Innovation Index, focusing first on the Catalog of Law Firm Innovations. I have had the help of three research assistants, Northwestern second-year law students Lauren Diner, Douglas Lavey, and Yoon Hoo Lee. We’ve added 112 entries to Version 1.02 of the Law Firm Innovation Catalog, for a total of 334 entries. I previously described the methodology employed to curate the list of innovations on the…
A few weeks ago, I got talking to a taxi driver about innovation in legal services. During our discussion, she shared her current experience with the legal system. My driver friend was embroiled in a legal dispute over custody of her daughter. She’d already spent thousands of dollars paying her lawyer. She even sold her motorcycle for additional funding. Her ex-partner wasn’t cooperative, so she expected to spend thousands more before their dispute resolved. She…
Last year’s launch of the Legal Services Innovation Index attracted much more attention than I anticipated. I knew that some would find the information useful, having been in the position of trying to gather data about innovation both as a lawyer in a law firm and a professor in a law school. But I underestimated the demand. To date, there have been over 29,600 views of the three Tableau visualizations that make up the Index:…
During my Civil Procedure class yesterday, we discussed the U.S. Supreme Court case Hickman v. Taylor, an important case pertaining to the attorney work-product doctrine. However, I didn’t expect that the opinions delivered for the case would be relevant to my most recent blog post titled “What are legal services?”. From my earlier blog post, you may remember that “legal services” in the U.S. is usually defined as work performed by a lawyer…
A construction team physically builds a skyscraper by starting with the foundation. Similarly, as we begin our “Building Blocks” journey, let’s establish the foundational ‘building block’ of innovation in legal services. When I began planning this blog post, I thought that our foundation would be a simple definition of legal services. After conducting substantial research, it’s clear that I was wrong.   Legal-Explanations.com states, “Legal services are the services involving legal or law related…
Swishhhh! The sound of LEGO® bricks pouring onto the floor is the sound of playtime. As a kid, I’d pull open a new box of LEGO® bricks and follow the instructions to build the toy shown on the box. At the end of a building session, I’d have a new toy to use in imaginary space adventures, ocean voyages, or car races. The more I played with LEGO® bricks, the less committed I became to…
Algorithms have a substantial impact on everything happening around us. Most everyone would agree that the impact of algorithms, computational technologies, and artificial intelligence on everyday life, institutions, and society will only grow, and rapidly. Yet most law students and lawyers lack the foundational knowledge to generally explain how these technologies work, much less assess them. One way to address this is to teach law students about artificial intelligence and computational technologies. I’m teaching several
How can we better train law students and lawyers for the future? Indiana University Law Professor Bill Henderson has been working on this problem for a long time. In 2017, Bill joined forces with Bill Mooz, an experienced lawyer and former general counsel who in 2014 established and led the Tech Lawyer Accelerator (TLA) program at the University of Colorado Law School. In November 2017 at a Forum on Legal Evolution event hosted by…
In July I had the honor of teaching for the inaugural Legal Technology and Operations summer program at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. The program attracted 33 students from all over the globe: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Estonia, Egypt, Germany, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine. About 75% of the students were professionals taking leave to participate in the program, including two judges and…
I am thrilled to share that I’ve joined Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as a Visiting Professor of Law for the 2018-19 academic year. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to contribute to Northwestern Law’s many initiatives to continuously improve the value of the education delivered to its students and prepare its students to have an impact in our society. Northwestern Law’s Strategic Plan, “Leading Law,” recognizes that law schools are “educating lawyers for…