The Future of Law School Innovation

Thursday, April 17, 2014; 12:30 to 7:30 PM
@ University of Colorado Law School, Room 101

Kauffman Logo

Over the last 5 years, in the fallout of the Great Recession, the legal profession has entered the era of the New Normal. Notably, a series of forces related to technological change, globalization, and the pressure to do more with less (in both corporate America and law firms) has changed permanently the legal services industry. As one article put it, firms are cutting back on hiring "in order to increase efficiency, improve profit margins, and reduce client costs." Indeed, in its recently noted cutbacks, Weil Gotshal's leaders remarked that it had initially expected old work to return, but came "around to the view that this is the 'new normal.'"

The New Normal provides lawyers with an opportunity to rethink—and reimagine—the role of lawyers in our economy and society. To the extent that law firms enjoyed, or still enjoy, the ability to bundle work together, that era is coming to an end, as clients unbundle legal services and tasks. Moreover, in other cases, automation and technology can change the roles of lawyers, both requiring them to oversee processes and use technology more aggressively as well as doing less of the work that is increasingly managed by computers (think: electronic discovery). The upside is not only greater efficiencies for society, but new possibilities for legal craftsmanship.

The emerging craft of lawyering in the New Normal is likely to require lawyers to be both entrepreneurial and fluent with a range of competencies that will enable them to add value for clients. Apropos of the trends noted above, there are emerging opportunities for "legal entrepreneurs" in a range of roles from legal process management to developing technologies to manage legal operations (such as overseeing automated processes) to supporting online dispute resolution processes. In other cases, effective legal training as well as domain specific knowledge (finance, sales, IT, entrepreneurship, human resources, etc.) can form a powerful combination that prepares law school grads for a range of opportunities (business development roles, financial operations roles, HR roles, etc.). In both cases, traditional legal skills alone will not be enough to prepare law students for these roles. But the proper training, which builds on the traditional law school curriculum and goes well beyond it including practical skills, relevant domain knowledge (e.g., accounting), and professional skills (e.g., working in teams), will provide law school students a huge advantage over those with a one-dimensional skill set.

This Conference will bring together national leaders from academia, technology and entrepreneurial companies, and practicing lawyers (both in-house and at law firms) to grapple with the ongoing challenges and opportunities that arise from the New Normal. In so doing, it will facilitate an important dialogue and share emerging best practices among leaders in the New Normal.

Welcome and Introduction
12:30pm - 12:45pm
  • Phil Weiser
    Dean
    University of Colorado Law School
    Executive Director
    Silicon Flatirons Center
Fireside Chat
12:45pm - 1:30pm
Moderator
  • Phil Weiser
    Dean
    University of Colorado Law School
    Executive Director
    Silicon Flatirons Center
Change Management: How Can Law Schools, Law Students, and Employers Develop a New Model
1:35pm - 2:35pm
  • Nora Demleitner
    Dean and Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr. Professor of Law
    Washington and Lee University School of Law
  • Melissa Hart
    Professor of Law
    University of Colorado Law School
    Director
    Byron R. White Center
  • William Henderson
    Professor of Law and Val Nolan Faculty Fellow
    Indiana University
  • Michael Moffitt
    Dean
    University of Oregon School of Law
Moderator
Break
2:35pm - 3:00pm
Teaching Law Students How to Stand Out in the Crowd
3:00pm - 4:05pm
  • Libby Cook
    Founder & Executive Director
    Philanthropiece, Inc.
  • Tyrone Glover
    Trial Attorney
    Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
  • Daniel Katz
    Associate Professor of Law
    Michigan State University
    Co-Director and Co-Founder
    ReInvent Law Laboratory
  • Jason Mendelson
    Managing Director
    Foundry Group
Moderator
  • Paul Ohm
    Associate Professor of Law
    University of Colorado
Ignite Presentation by Legal Entrepreneur
4:10pm - 4:20pm
  • Amber Tafoya
    Director - External Affairs
    AT&T
Break
4:20pm - 4:35pm
Critical Competencies For the New Normal and How Best to Develop Them
4:35pm - 5:35pm
  • Deborah Cantrell
    Director of Clinical Programs
    Associate Professor of Law
    University of Colorado
  • Neil Hamilton
    Professor of Law
    University of St. Thomas Law School
    Director
    Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions
  • Paul Lippe
    Chief Executive Officer
    Legal OnRamp System
  • Mark Roellig
    Executive Vice President and General Counsel
    MassMutual Life Insurance Company
    Adjunct Faculty
    University of Colorado Law School
Moderator
  • Helen Norton
    Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    Associate Professor of Law
    University of Colorado
Deans' Panel: The Future of Law School Innovation
5:40pm - 6:30pm
  • Nicholas Allard
    Dean and Professor of Law
    Brooklyn Law School
  • Daniel Rodriguez
    Dean
    Northwestern Law
    President
    American Association of Law Schools
  • Kellye Testy
    Dean and James W. Mifflin University Professor of Law
    University of Washington
  • Patricia White
    Dean and Professor of Law
    University of Miami
Moderator
  • Phil Weiser
    Dean
    University of Colorado Law School
    Executive Director
    Silicon Flatirons Center
Reception
6:30pm - 7:30pm