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: the Law Firm Innovation Catalog, the Law Firm Innovation Index, and the prototype Law School Innovation Index.
Now that I’ve moved to Chicago and settled in at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as a Visiting Professor of Law, I’ve begun work to update each component of the Index. Fortunately, three Northwestern second-year law students working with me as research assistants have already made substantial contributions to this project:
- Lauren Diner
- Doug Lavey
- Yoon Hoo Lee
I’ve included their bios below, which will soon be added to the Index website.
Lauren, Doug, Yoon, and I drafted the following update.
The Index To Date
The Legal Services Innovation Index launched in August 2017 to describe and measure the state of legal-services delivery innovation. Version 1.0 launched with (1) a Catalog of more than 200 innovations from over 100 law firms of all sizes located in the US, UK, EU, Australia, and Canada and (2) a Law Firm Innovation Index measuring innovation in 260 law firms (the AmLaw Global 100, AmLaw 200, and Canadian 30).
In November 2017, we launched a prototype Law School Innovation Index and added 17 innovations in version 1.01 of the Catalog. Law firms had previously submitted each of these innovations via the submission form on the Catalog page.
Our mission is to measure and assessing innovation, thereby helping legal industry consumers and product and services providers better understand the legal innovation landscape and inform their decisions. Consumers include clients and law students. Providers include lawyers, law firms, alternative legal services providers, and legal technology companies, to name a few.
Our vision is that measurement and assessment of innovation will drive the legal industry forward, thereby increasing access to legal services and justice for all. Our mission and vision respond to the call to action by Jim Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, that we most move from measuring revenue and profit to measuring technology adoption. (More about this on the Index Overview page.)
Interest in the Index and feedback received exceeded our highest expectations. Users saw the potential for the Index to become a key hub of information within a rapidly changing legal ecosystem.
Upcoming Index Updates
Where do we go from here? We are focused on the following goals in the near term:
- Updating the Catalog of law firm innovations. We plan to release version 1.02 of the Catalog by the end of October.
- Encouraging law firms and their collaborating partners to submit innovations for addition to the Catalog via a form available via a button at the bottom of the Catalog page.
- Beginning later in October, encouraging law schools to submit information for updates to the prototype Law School Innovation Index, which we plan to begin updating later this year.
Catalog of Law Firm Innovations Update Methodology
Version 1.02 of the Catalog of law firm innovations will include all innovation submissions received by October 19. Before adding an innovation to the Catalog, we will verify the information, including its categorization by practice area and discipline driving the innovation.
Additionally, we continue to review various public resources, such as The Financial Times, Legal Week, The Recorder, and Business Wire. We have also conducted uniform Google searches to locate law firm innovations.
When we find reference to a law firm innovation, we confirm that it appears on the law firm’s website before adding it to the Catalog. Limiting the innovations in the Catalog to those identified on law firm websites enables us to confirm the details, including that the innovation is currently offered to clients.
Once an innovation has been identified, we categorize and record each innovation across various factors, including: type of tool, area of law involved, and relationship (internal to the firm, a partnership, etc.). This allows users to analyze the data from a number of perspectives.
Law Firms: Submit Your Innovations by October 19
Law firms and their collaborating partners can help us by submitting information about their innovations by using the form available via a button at the bottom of the Catalog page. All submissions received by October 19 will be verified and added to the Catalog.
Who are we?
We are a team led by Dan Linna, Visiting Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. The student team brings with them a diversity of backgrounds and interest areas including psychology, education, and public policy.
Lauren completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and elementary education in 2015. She then worked in an elementary school before earning her Master’s degree in Bioethics from New York University. Over the summer, she completed the Institute for the Future of Law Practice bootcamp and interned with Neota Logic. She will graduate from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in May 2020. Lauren will join Allen & Overy’s New York office as a summer associate in 2019.
Doug plans to focus on the intersection of disruptive technologies, public policy, and the law. After completing his undergraduate degree, he worked as a consultant, implementing enterprise systems at large public institutions. He is currently pursuing a concurrent Master’s in Public Policy degree in addition to his JD. Doug will graduate from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and the Harvard Kennedy School in May 2020. Doug will join Perkins Coie’s Chicago office as a summer associate in 2019.
Yoon Hoo Lee
Yoon plans to use her teaching background together with her interest in process improvement and technology to better serve clients. After completing her undergraduate degree in Plan II Honors and Latin at the University of Texas at Austin, she worked as a middle school Latin teacher at her alma mater. She will graduate from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in May 2020. Yoon will join Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Dallas office as a summer associate in 2019.