The Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation recently completed an experiment that I’m already prepared to call a success. I also hope that it will be a model for other law schools to try.

We called it the 2021 Michigan State University Rising 2L Legal Design Challenge.

The challenge question was:

How can online methods and lessons learned from COVID increase access to justice?

We divided the participating students into teams or 3 or 4, taught them some standard design thinking approaches, and encouraged them to unloose their creativity. The challenge took the form of a two-week sprint that concluded with short presentations and judging. Our judges were MSULaw alums Amani Smathers and Brian Pike.

The ideas focused on tenant rights, appeals of “bad paper discharges” for veterans, and eliminating crosstalk and other audio issues in online hearings that can ruin transcripts for appeals.

Impressive work all around.

I’ve put up an edited video of the final session, with presentations, the announcement of winners and judges’ comments, and some student comments on their experience on the Video Resources page of the Center for Law, Technology & Innovation website. I invite you to check it out.

I’m so encouraged that I’m already thinking of ideas for a similar contest in the fall.

If you are interested in doing something similar at your law school, I’d be happy to share my insights and learnings.

Watch video here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I’m excited about the upcoming event in the Exponential.Legal Live series with legal product makers via Zoom. It will be on Wednesday, June 23, at 3:30 EDT.

The event features Richard Granat and LaDierdre McKinney, who will share their stories about productization of legal services in for-profit and non-profit sections, and their insights and perspectives. Attendees will also get the chance to the guests their questions.

You can register and get the attendance information by going to the Exponential.Legal website and submitting your email address. What could be easier?

While on the website, take the opportunity to check out our on-demand Essentials course from which you’ll learn the Launch Lifecycle approach to innovation and productization.

Hope to see you there.

Register here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I decided last weekend that it was time to kill off some of my innovation ideas and projects, both personal and professional.

And my timing might have been right because yesterday I watched a great Strategyzer webinar called “Why Killing Ideas is Key in Innovation,” featuring Alex Osterwalder, Tendayi Viki, and Uwe Kirscner. A replay is available here.

From the webinar description: “Here’s how world class innovators, we call them Invincible Companies, find the winners. They invest small amounts of resources in a large number of teams to test and adapt their ideas. They then kill at least half of those projects after a short amount of time. Only a few ideas and teams that can produce evidence get follow-up investments. They repeat this elimination process until the best ideas and teams emerge.

The key to the above is threefold. Firstly, eliminate the blockers to innovation and let any team with an idea start. Secondly, hone your ability to kill ideas that don’t produce evidence after a short amount of time. Thirdly, make every team feel like a winner, so that they come back to test new ideas.”

It was nice to get some confirmation of the approach I had taken over the weekend.

In my own case, I used the two principles of killing at least half of the projects and honing my ability to look at actual evidence to kill projects that don’t produce evidence in a reasonably short period of time.

Some decisions were easy, but some were quite difficult. Key insight: people telling me that something is “a great idea” is not evidence.

I feel like I’m starting to develop skills in identifying blockers. And I’m adopting and building reps in the approaches I teach in my classes and in the Exponential.Legal Launch Lifecycle technology, especially in taking an evidence-based approach to validation and de-risking.

Key insight: people telling me that something is “a great idea” is not evidence.

I’m not saying this is easy. Pulling the plug on some of your favorite ideas is tough. However, I find it valuable both to do the exercise and to develop criteria for determining what should go forward and what shouldn’t. Most important, it has freed space to create and test new ideas and I feel that my load has lightened.

Definitely worth a try. A good project for your next Personal Quarterly Offsite.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Summer is here. Grades are turned in. Several projects have wrapped up. I’m looking forward to a much slower pace for the summer.

I’ve decided to focus on one thing this summer – my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Legal Innovation as a Service(TM) (“LIaaS”) is a fresh approach to provide innovation leaders in legal organizations with Just-in-time, Just-enough(TM) guidance at key inflection points in the innovation process. LIaaS consists of pre-scoped, limited, flat fee service offerings to help you get desired feedback or help, move your effort forward, and let you get back to doing what you do best. You select the option you need from the catalog, we work together on that project, and you get quickly back on the road to success and achieving your vision.

I also plan to focus on helping innovation teams in law departments, although I’m happy to work with law firms and other legal organizations.

Innovation has reached an inflection point after almost a year-and-a-half of COVID. Innovation teams have been working very hard and are often feeling confused and exhausted. Legal Innovation as a Service is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to get my independent review, suggestions, encouragement, and just-in-time, just-enough advice so that you can get back to work with fresh energy and confidence.

There are three places where I see innovative law departments needing the most help in summer 2021 and in this order: reality check on current efforts, investment and course correction, and, as always, idea selection.

There are three places where I see innovative law departments needing the most help in summer 2021 and in this order: reality check on current efforts, investment and course correction, and, as always, idea selection. I have LIaaS offerings in each of these categories, starting at US$7,500.

You’ve probably been struggling on your own and need just a little help from someone with my expertise, experience, and network. Summer 2021 is the right time to get that help.

LIaaS details and price list here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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What did we learn and what should we take forward from our legal education experience in COVID times?

Alyson Carrel (Northwestern), Cat Moon (Vanderbilt), and I (Michigan State) are co-hosting a virtual workshop on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 9:00 CDT on this topic. Think of it as an “after action report” on legal education from March 2020 until now.

What did we learn? What don’t we want to leave behind or forget? How should we take the best lessons forward in practical ways?

“I want it to be a workshop where people come to work.”

When Cat and Allyson approached me with this idea, I said, “I want it to be a workshop where people come to work.” That’s what we are planning.

We are bringing together law school faculty and administrators, law students, and education experts to reflect on what we’ve all learned and work on ways to move forward. We are calling it the TRB Retrospective to reflect the thorn, rose, bud metaphor.

We’ll use dedicated groups and facilitated breakout rooms, with the goals of sharing learnings and giving you a group to carry a project forward with a committed team that you find at the workshop.

Learn more and apply at bit.ly/3hXvZAA

Application and approval required. Hope to see you there.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Please join the Exponential Legal team on Wednesday, May 26, at 3:30 Eastern, for a free and open discussion about #productization of legal services. Our guest will be Greg Siskind and he will be sharing his insights into productization efforts and learnings in the area of immigration law. Greg has been working on some cool projects and it’s a great opportunity to learn about them, how Greg got started in productization, and the lessons he’s learned.

It’s also a great way to learn about our “The Essentials” course (and summer is the perfect time to take it – convince your employer to let you use some of that professional development travel budget you’ve saved your employer over the last year or so).

Go to Exponential.Legal and submit your email address to receive an invitation and details about this free event.

This session will be a great way to kickstart one of your new legal product ideas or just to learn about what legal products might look like. Hope to see you there.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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The 2021 Global Law Lab Showcase and Meetup is must see Zoom TV at 8:00 EDT tonight. You’ll get the chance to learn more about 11 cool law labs pioneering new approaches to educating the 21st century legal professional, including the Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation, where I am the Interim Director.

From the invitation page:

A collection of law labs from across the globe have decided to gather for a virtual breakfast/cocktail reception/meetup. Unfortunately, attendees will have to bring their own food and beverages as the meetup will take place on Zoom. We will provide a number of breakout rooms and the goal is to meet and chat with folks from law labs around the world. “What’s a law lab?” you ask. Check out each lab’s description below (the showcase) to get a feel for their work, and plan who you would like to meet with on the 11th/12th at the meetup.

I’ve put together a first draft (i.e., not perfect by any means) of a quick video intro to the Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation for the showcase. If you’ve wanted to learn more about CLT&I, this video is a good starting point.

Hope to see you at the showcase.

The Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation has a new Twitter feed at @MSULawTech.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Logo for The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcastSeemed like a good time to catch up those of you who aren’t already regular subscribers or listeners to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on what shows we’ve released in 2021 so far. We are nearing the 300th episode, which should occur right at the end of the year by my calculations. We recently passed the 15th anniversary of the podcast.

I’m a little biased, but we’ve had some great shows so far this year.

Let us know what you think about the podcast, what topics you might like to hear us cover, and what questions you might have for us to answer on a show. You can call our Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820.

Good listening!


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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WOman putting on VR goggles - from Pexels
Please join the Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation on March 26, 2021 (Friday) at 1:00 Eastern for a free Zoom presentation on current uses and possible future uses of Virtual Reality in the practice of law. Might some of your future work be done while wearing VR goggles? You’ll see examples of what is happening right now and discussion of the potential benefits and challenges of using VR in the practice of law.

VR gives us a great example of a technology on the near horizon and how the legal profession can anticipate and prepare for likely impacts in day-to-day law practice and interactions with all constituents of the legal system. How might the ethical duty of technology competence apply in the specific example of Virtual Reality?

LinkedIn Event Page with Zoom Information: https://www.linkedin.com/events/virtualrealityinthepracticeofla6779847226618466304/

Three sessions:

1:00 – 2:00 – Annie Morley of JUST will introduce VR in its current state, applications that are already happening in law practice, JUST’s VR app, and more.

2:00 – 3:00 – Yasmin Elayat, Co-founder of Scatter and new media artist, will discuss some of her work in using VR in the social justice area, some practical issues in making VR, and how VR and “immersive movie-making” might change our approaches to persuasion, presenting information, and educating people on complex and difficult issues.

3:00 – 4:00 – Panel discussion and Q & A on VR and what we might expect and prepare for. Amani Smathers, of Chapman & Cutler, will moderate a panel with Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Michelle Rick, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel Dennis Garcia, Davis Wright Tremaine’s Matt Jedreski, and Elevate’s Andy Ninh.

LinkedIn Event Page with Zoom Information: https://www.linkedin.com/events/virtualrealityinthepracticeofla6779847226618466304/


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Monk meditatingOne of the most valuable exercises I do routinely is the Personal Quarterly Offsite. It’s a straightforward concept with powerful results. I find it so helpful that I created an online course to share my approach and best practices. It’s called Productive Personal Quarterly Offsite for Busy Legal Professionals.

March is a fantastic time for a Personal Quarterly Offsite, especially to focus on progress on annual goals and make necessary revisions and changes. Goals, strategies, and planning can no longer be “set and forget” in COVID times.

From now until March 1, the course has a special sale price of US$99.99.

Starting on March 1, the price will be US$299.99.

Purchase here. More info here.

If 2021 already feels like it is drifting or starting to get away from you, this exercise is the best way I’ve found to get things back on course.

Purchase course here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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