from 4 May 2013

Following on discussions with Gillian Hadfield, Jack Lerner.

Jack mentioned an alum who'd not yet found work and who was asking for advice about taking on a client. At issue: student did not feel quite confident enough to strike out on her own without any professional back-stopping. JL noted that he could say to her "sure, go ahead, and I'll be happy to answer any questions, go over things with you, etc." This got us talking about putting together this functionality in a more formal way. A "Micro-Law-Firm Incubator" would, perhaps, be located at the law school as a part of placement or some such. It would allow new grads to join a sort of virtual firm in which they'd have the benefit of some organizational infrastructure and an set of experienced experts with whom they could consult, bounce ideas, etc. The entity could also provide other ancillary services that a solo practitioner might lack. Deal could involve the entity assuming some sort of malpractice coverage for members and members kicking back some set amount of fees. Model is sort of like building a virtual law firm with the benefit of experienced partners but without the drain of partners (and one would note also without their ability to attract clients).

A later discussion was building on Gillian's plan to create video of projects students did in her legal innovations course this semester. One student mentioned putting together a web site for the course. Conversation turned to making the effort into a center — USC Center for Legal Design and Innovation. Then we start thinking about genre of products and solutions and range from long term to short. Possibilities of rapid prototyping as a component. Would it make sense to train students in the art of collaboration (borrowing ideas, for example, from IDEO? or deBono? Or…). Could we set up policy design charrettes? Maybe even events that involved community members?

Policy hackathon?

Innovation Exchange (etc.) style posing of challenges?

Might the Legal Zooms of the world be interested in using the lab to develop things that could be "off the shelf" solutions? Or have competitions to identify bottlenecks and problems everyone has (with maybe a voting system to identify the most promising?) and then pose these as challenges?

Related

JFK school does big spring practicum for first year students and Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Hack the Law at Harvard February 2013.
USC Annenberg Innovation Lab
[http://innovation-lab.org/]
Legal Innovation Lab at Northeastern
Library Lab at Harvard
Katz and Knape to Lead Legal Innovation Lab @ MSU (see Reinvent Law Lab)
OpenLawLab
Innovations in Democratic Governance course at JFK School.