More Than a Buzzword: How Law Firms and Law Departments Can Harness Innovation


In a profession enamored with centuries-old precedent, the term “legal innovation” has long been an oxymoron. Lawyers were commonly—and often rightly—perceived as too stagnant and tradition-bound to embrace radical change. But more recently, legal innovation has taken off, garnering extensive buzz in the industry.

The “innovation” label has been slapped on everything from alternative fee arrangements to modern matter-management solutions. But these approaches, while new to legal organizations, are not necessarily revolutionary. So, do they qualify as true innovation? The answer is an emphatic yes. When it comes to the law, innovating means changing something that has been established or introducing something new, be it large and organization-redefining or modest. The term encompasses far more than technology; operational changes and mindset shifts can be innovative as well. As new practices become the norm, they are no longer novel; therefore, the criteria for what constitutes innovative is, by definition, constantly evolving.

In this white paper, we will explore what legal innovation currently is and survey elements that contribute to successful innovation, including an effective framework to support innovative efforts in law firms and corporate law departments.