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April 17, 2014

Colo innov conference: Teaching Law Students

by Dan Rodriguez

Participants: Libby Cook, exec director of Philanthropiece, Inc.; Tyrone Glover, Office of Colo State Public Defender; Dan Katz, Prof at Michigan State; founder, ReInvent Law Lab; Jason Mendelson, Managing Director, Foundry Group.  Moderate: Paul Ohm, Prof at Colorado.

What are the drivers of change?

Dan Katz [DK]:  Legal startups are increasingly in volume (nearly 500).  This is an enormously big development.  Re students, they are responding to design mindset.  Need polytechnic skills.  If you can get those skills into people, you can open up a range of opportunities.  Not enough to have these skills; need to show them.  Example of a recent grad: worked on MiLaw, company works to digitize Michigan laws; now works at Novus Law.  Another student works at FTI Consulting.  “You want a job at newlaw, you need to look the part.”

T-shaped lawyer idea:

horizontally, encompasses the breadth of experience and background; vertically, the depth of knowledge in particular legal area.

Law (substantive legal expertise) + Tech (analytics, AI, computing) + Design (process mapping; design thinking) + Delivery

“Why in law schools?”  DK:  fundamental idea is building better lawyers.  They are leveraging technology to the max.

Jason Mendelson [JM]:  Is the demand for lawyers, growing, shrinking, or flat?  Are we about market share or are we expanding the pie?  The value of lawyers has never been lower, and will continue going lower.  Many clients now are not going to their lawyers; they are going to other things.  From standpoint of venture capitalist, which part of the market do I want to participate in.  I could invest in traditional legal marketplace where demand is flat; or I could invest in areas which may wipe out traditional law firms.  E.g., Modria.




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