The Legal Services Innovation Index – The Flaw in the Ointment


Recently Daniel Linna, Professor of Law and the Director of The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State University, published the first iteration of The Legal Services Innovation Index (LSII) The first part of this ambitious project is the Innovation Catalog of innovative products, legal services and consulting services offered by large law firms. It appears that the already impressively large catalog will be primarily managed by Linna’s law student support team and other volunteers based on their own research efforts and communal submissions. The second part of the project is the Law Firm Index (LFI) of ten innovation categories devised by Linna and his team and scored by applying a standardized set of keyword and key phrase searches of large law firm websites utilizing Google Advanced Search and recording the results counts in the LFI. The premise here is that innovative law firms will use innovation-related terms more frequently on their websites compared to non-innovative firms. The hope is that the Google search results counts will provide a reasonably objective means of measuring large law firm innovation across various temporal and demographic dimensions. Good idea…but a deeply flawed implementation. Continue reading “The Legal Services Innovation Index – The Flaw in the Ointment”

The Headlong Rush Into Analytics

Rushing Down (at the Tate Modern) - © 2016 Brenton B. Miller
Rushing Down (at the Tate Modern)

In a recent Forbes Tech article, How Big Data is Disrupting Law Firms and the Legal Profession, Nik Reed (co-founder of Ravel Law) is quoted as saying:

[T]he days when lawyers were all English Literature or philosophy majors are behind us now, my classmates included a lot of people from finance and one who had a PhD in biochemistry from MIT. These are people who are familiar with quantitative analysis and datasets, and they are yearning for richer information sources and better analytics technologies. It probably wouldn’t have gone down very well 30 years ago with the kind of people who were lawyers back then.

Because it’s been about 30 years since I last did legal research as an associate, I think I’m pretty qualified to reply that if cool and effective research aids like Ravel were available and affordable 30 years ago, we would have happily abandoned all of that manual treatise and digest reviewing, the pulling of countless court reporters and advance sheets and the oh-so-tedious manual Shepardizing! The visual strengths of the analytics tools now coming online would have been just as obvious to us back then as they are today.  Continue reading “The Headlong Rush Into Analytics”

Welcome to BigLaw KM

I’ve been doing some soul searching about launching a blog on knowledge management in large law firms (“BigLaw”). Is there anything left to discuss?  After all, there are already several popular blogs that touch on BigLaw KM with some frequency like Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology and Mary Abraham’s Above and Beyond KM.  A couple of other excellent blogs that also target legal KM and related topics are 3 Geeks and a Law Blog and Dewey B Strategic, and then there are the business-of-law blogs, the legal tech blogs and the general law practice blogs that others have tracked. Blog coverage that touches our little corner of the world isn’t lacking, but perhaps there is still room for a blog that really maintains the perspective of BigLaw KM insiders and concentrates on the issues that touch them, especially if it becomes something of a hangout for this specialized community during those lengthy gaps between the ARK, ILTA, LegalTech conferences and the other relatively few opportunities we have to see each other in person. Maybe if I provide a little provocation, others will read and respond? Wouldn’t that be nice?

Continue reading “Welcome to BigLaw KM”