Legal Rebels and Trailblazers speak!

Hear these innovators tell the tales of how they began changing legal practice and where they see law is going in the future.


This Louisiana judge continues to innovate during the COVID-19 crisis

Judge Scott Schlegel’s history of utilizing technology in his Louisiana courtroom to make life easier for attorneys and members of the public has come in very handy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bench trial by video? This lawyer says it went better than expected

Exhibits were screen-shared with witnesses. Lawyers conducted cross-examinations from their offices while the judge watched from his home. And one afternoon, the proceedings ended early when a witness lost their internet connection.

Legal reform advocates need to more actively engage the public

Supporters of broad reforms to how the legal profession is regulated must do a better job drawing the public into ongoing conversations in several states about such issues, says Paula Littlewood, the former longtime executive director of the Washington State Bar Association.

BigLaw firm’s legal tech subsidiary has launched a steady stream of COVID-19 tools

When the novel coronavirus began rapidly spreading across the United States earlier this year, Kimball Dean Parker says he felt a strong desire to help consumers and businesses in need.

How hosting a national pandemic summit aided the Nebraska courts system with its COVID-19 response

When the novel coronavirus began sweeping across the U.S. earlier this year, Nebraska’s judicial system was better prepared to rapidly adjust its operations than some of its counterparts in other states.

Online estate planning sees surge during coronavirus crisis

The online estate-planning platform Trust & Will saw at least a 100% increase in business in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Cody Barbo, the company’s CEO and co-founder.

President of the Legal Services Corp. reflects on his tenure

Asked to reflect on his nine-year tenure as president of the Legal Services Corp., Jim Sandman says he is proud of many things that he and his team accomplished.

How 2 Texas lawyers are marketing their practice through song

Thanks to social media and the internet, it’s never been easier—or more affordable—for lawyers to advertise. On the other hand, having so many avenues available to lawyers makes it more difficult for anyone to stand out from the crowd.

Reinventing the staid field of legal academic writing

Legal academic publishing isn't synonymous with innovation. The mere mention of it can, for some, bring up repressed memories of the most banal and stuffy aspects of law school. But the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wants to change that.

Finding your niche: How one lawyer built a practice by defending a notorious accused hacker

Leaving BigLaw to start his own firm in 2011, Tor Ekeland quickly learned that his legal education was insufficient for the task at hand.

Diversity in the legal tech community has been slow but steady

The year 2017 was hailed as the "Year of Women in Legal Tech" based on a few high-profile acquisitions and hires.

Expunging records with new technology

Exploring new frontiers in research for the legal industry

How experiential learning in law schools became widely accepted

When Rodney Smolla was featured as a Legal Rebel in 2009, he was in the midst of leading an innovative plan at Washington and Lee University School of Law, which involved eliminating traditional third-year coursework and replacing it with experiential learning.

What’s your brand? Max Miller has some thoughts

It's good to be seen as a "thought leader," but don't call yourself that in marketing materials, says lawyer, professor and small business owner Max Miller.

Avvo founder unwinds as he thinks about the next step

David Van Zandt has made a career out of touching third rails in higher education

When David Van Zandt became dean of what is now Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law in 1995, he faced a steep learning curve. Up until then, he had never managed an organization of more than a few people.

Nonprofit law pioneer applauds ‘low bono’ growth

Before they were buzzwords, Luz Herrera was a pioneer in the world of "low bono" practice, nonprofit law firms and legal incubators. All three innovations have blossomed and spread across the country since then.

Not content with retirement, Jeff Carr continues the fight against billable hours

Leading advocate for diversity in legal industry hasn’t seen much progress in 10 years

In the 10 years since Emery K. Harlan, co-founder of the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms, was featured as an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, he says little has changed for diversity in the profession.

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