Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Legal Whiteboard: ReInvent Law is a Really Big Deal, by William Henderson (Indiana):
I was at the ReInvent Law Silicon Valley event last week. Following up on Jerry's thorough remarks, I can honestly say it was unlike any legal education and lawyer conference I have ever attended (the only thing close is Law Without Walls).
There is a new guard in the legal academy taking shape, and it is led
-- truly led -- by Dan Katz and Renee Knake at Michigan State. ...
Amidst all these "revolutionary" ideas, I think my presentation was
probably the most conservative. My central claim is that 100 years ago,
as the nation struggled to find enough specialized lawyers to deal with
the rise of the industrial and administrative state, some brilliant
lawyers in cities through America created a "clockworks" approach to
lawyer development. These clockworks filled this enormous gaping hole.
Firms like Cravath, Swaine & Moore, through their "Cravath System"
finished what legal educators started. ...
A Clockworks Approach to Lawyer Development. Here is the Slideshare description:
The original Cravath System circa 1920 demonstrated the power of a
"clockworks" approach to lawyer development. The system was a
meticulously designed and mechanized way to create specialized lawyers
who could service the needs of America's rapidly growing industrial and
financial enterprises -- lawyers who were in perennial short supply
because the requisite skill set could only be learned by doing. The
System endured for a century because it solved the specialized lawyer
shortage by making every stakeholder better off -- junior lawyers
(received training), partner-owners (large, stable profits), and clients
(world class service and value).
Today's legal employers and
legal educators would benefit by revisiting this system's powerful
business logic. The clockworks approach to lawyer development still
works. The only difference is that the specifications for a great lawyer
have changed. Like the original Cravath System, a new clockworks would
create a "better lawyer faster."