Bill Henderson’s Institute for the Future of Law Practice trains a new breed of lawyers

Bill Henderson has long been a highly influential agent of change in the legal industry — as an educator, researcher, academic and writer. In addition to his role as the Stephen F. Burns Chair of the Legal Profession at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, Henderson is the founder and primary editor of Legal Evolution and co-founder of Lawyer Metrics (now LawyerMetrix ), an applied research company that helps lawyers use data to make better operational and strategic decisions.

His work, which concerns the transformation of the legal industry, legal operations and legal education, has culminated in the founding of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP), a nonprofit organization that seeks to build a talent pipeline that better suits the interests of law students, law schools and legal employers as they prepare for a rapidly advancing future focused on the delivery of efficient, transparent and economical service.

Kimberly Leach Johnson, Quarles & Brady LLP’s Chair, had the chance to speak with Henderson about the Institute, the evolution of the legal industry, and innovations in legal education.

Kimberly Johnson: Can you tell us a little about the origin of the IFLP? How have changes in the business of law driven changes in law school curricula?

Bill Henderson: The program grew out of the needs of corporate clients who, time and time again, told us they not only need talent with deep substantive legal expertise, but also with the operational skills to put that expertise into action more efficiently, including a working understanding of finances, billing and technology.

Bill Mooz was one of these guys, and he told the Dean at the University of Colorado’s law school that we just aren’t training our students to practice law at the cutting edge. So the dean told him to come back and teach. Bill created a program called the Tech Lawyer Accelerator (TLA), which involved a three-week boot camp for teaching business principles, process technology, data, and things like that. I helped Colorado obtain some grant funding […]

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