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The following was published on January 1, 2021 at Postindustrial, under the headline “Let’s expand what it means to be ‘a Pittsburgher.’” It is Pittsblog-ish content. What does that mean? I explained earlier, here. There is more Pittsblog-ish content to come. Happy New Year. By Michael Madison What if the future of Pittsburgh did not ritually invoke the historical sweat equity of steelworkers and their wives and children? What if the future of Pittsburgh did…
The following was published last month at Postindustrial, in print and online, under the headline “Imagining a future Pittsburgh for all: Creating a thriving postindustrial economy means moving past a region of our imagination.” This is Pittsblog-ish content. What does that mean? I explained earlier, here. There is more Pittsblog-ish content to come. Pittsburgh’s public sphere has no shortage of great, idealistic, ambitious goals for a new, 21st century, now post-pandemic Pittsburgh: equity, inclusion, wealth, happiness,…
Begin here. Then read this. Evidence Despite the many flaws of law schools today, and despite naivete, ignorance, and obstinacy on the parts of schools, faculty, law firms, and practicing lawyers, I’m optimistic about the future.  Why?  Because I look at the large number of things in flux today, even looking only and specifically at law practice and legal education, and my story-oriented interpretation is that somethings (plural) are starting to shake loose. The scriptwriters,…
This is the third and final installment of a response to a recent Forbes.com essay from Mark Cohen about the present and future and future of legal education. Mark’s essay is “Post-Pandemic Legal Education.”  I posted a quick hot take as Legal Education’s Waterloo, dove in more deeply with Legal Education’s Waterloo: Urgency, and jumped to the end of the story in Legal Education’s Waterloo: The End Game.  This is…
Begin here. Story One  Evolutionary (or adaptive) professionalism.  Technological change, shifting financial markets, expanding and contracting labor markets, fluid trade patterns – the legal profession has seen these before, and it’s seeing related things now.  The values and principles that define law, lawyers, and the profession are durable and transcend the details of specific organizational forms and educational pathways.  Law schools today and law practice organizations should steer into the skid, so to speak,…
This is the second part of a promised three-part response to Mark Cohen’s recent Forbes.com essay (“Post-Pandemic Legal Education”) about what confronts legal education today and what awaits it in the future. My initial hot take appeared here, as Legal Education’s Waterloo. My first substantive reaction, Legal Education’s Waterloo: Urgency, agreed with the premise that US legal education confronts immense challenges, but it focused on cultural prompts rather than financial ones…
In Legal Education’s Waterloo, I promised a longer comment on an excellent recent provocation in Forbes.com by Mark Cohen, concerning what US law schools are doing, are not doing, and should be doing with respect to training new lawyers for impactful future careers. The longer comment comes in three parts. One has to do the urgency of change. That’s this part. Two, yet to come, will deal with a vision of what legal education…
“Legal education is at a crossroads. Its model was under siege before the pandemic and  underwater now.” “Traditional legal education’s Waterloo may come as a surprise to many in academia, but not for business where pan-industry disruption of dominant provider models has become routine.” Those are key quotes from an urgent new piece by Mark Cohen, at Forbes.com. There’s a lot to like in it (the urgency, for starters), a lot to unpack (the vision of…
The professional world of modern legal services is essentially unanimous in concluding that the analytic skills, which law schools focus on (particularly in US-style JD programs), are only parts of what makes lawyers successful. What are the other skills? Competencies of different sorts. Once we get past elementary matters of substantive legal knowledge; ethical conduct; and perhaps rudimentary law office management, there is less agreement on which competencies matter or matter most. And there is…
“PittsburghsFutures” programming interrupts “Future Law” programming here from time to time. I’m motivated to do that in part by increasingly urgent questions about the future of cities, with Pittsburgh as prime and local example number one (an interest that goes back at least to 2004, via Pittsblog, and continues very recently in the Tribune Review). Pittsburgh legacy leaders’ endless obsession with making Pittsburgh important again drives me bonkers. I am all but…