Following up on my post from February 2018, Bill Henderson Launches The Institute For The Future Of Law Practice Bill Henderson (Indiana), An Update on IFLP:
Later this month, the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP, or “I-flip”) will celebrate its one year anniversary. Before that, it was just an idea in the minds of a few dozen lawyers, legal educators and allied professionals. In the fall of 2017, this “Group of 40” participated in a needs analysis. There were two questions: Is an intermediary organization needed to align the interests of law schools, legal employers and clients around the educational requirements of 21st century law practice? And if so, could such an organization become a viable nonprofit operating company?
The Group of 40 concluded that the period of industry-wide discussion and debate, which began in earnest after the 2008 financial crisis, had run its natural course. It was time to start building the future. Thus, an organization like IFLP was worth a try.
The Group of 40 endorsed the creation of a skills bootcamp in spring 2018 for a group of roughly 25 students. A key feature would be paid internship employment for every admitted student. By hiring students, IFLP employers would be signalling the value of IFLP training. Eventually the rest of the market would catch on. In a nutshell, that was the model.
Initially IFLP’s only assets were relationships, albeit that was huge. In November of 2017, Cisco Systems committed to six paid 7-month internships ($300,000+ in salaries). Northwestern Law committed classroom space for the inaugural bootcamp. In addition to hiring IFLP grads, Chapman and Cutler and Elevate Services agreed to provide year-one operating capital (later Quislex provided additional founding sponsor support). A wonderful group of professionals agreed to serve on our volunteer board. Another dozen-plus industry leaders agreed to serve as volunteer instructors. All this happened because of a network of professional peers with significant history and a reservoir of trust.
Drawing upon this foundation, IFLP was brought into this world on January 16, 2018 as a Delaware nonprofit nonstock corporation. A few days later, we launched a website and started recruiting employers. Before we had a checking account, we were interviewing students for the bootcamp. See Post 043 (announcing launching of IFLP); Post 046 (providing an early days account).
The inaugural bootcamp went well. We faithfully collected metrics on all of it. In the fall of 2018, as we began to plan for 2019, we finally had the bandwidth to create a logo and refresh the website with content that reflected our longer-term aspirations.
As we approach our one year anniversary, IFLP is immensely grateful to the above roster of 2019 IFLP employers. These are the legal industry’s innovators, early adopters, and opinion leaders. To fill all the employment slots, IFLP will be running skills bootcamps in Boulder (Colorado Law), Chicago (Northwestern), and Toronto (Osgoode Hall) for 75 to 90 students. We have room for approximately ten additional employer slots before we hit maximum capacity. Our existing funnel of prospective employers is likely to yield that. Likewise, in 2019 we are fortunate to have 18 participating law schools, see list on IFLP website, with plans to add more in 2020.
As the title of this post suggests, this is an update on IFLP. I have time to write it because the IFLP board and leadership team has done a very good job of building an infrastructure that can scale. As of today, our expansion is on schedule. Below I will do my best to describe the organization’s current activities and future plans. The good news is that we are building a big tent for those wanting to co-create a better future.