Each year, the College of Law Practice Management (COLPM) announces the InnovAction Awards winners recognized for outstanding innovation in the delivery of legal services, demonstrating to the legal community what can happen when passionate professionals, with big ideas and strong convictions, resolve to create effective change. Below are the winners of the 2013 InnovAction Awards, which will be presented at the COLPM Futures Conference which will be held October 4-5 at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Registration is still open and InsideLegal readers receive $100 off the registration rate.
California Monitor Program, University of California, Irvine School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic
Key Team Members: Professor Katherine Porter and Michael Troncoso
Consumer protection laws are notoriously under-enforced, constrained by not only the availability of legal services and government resources but also by the difficulties of consumers to frame their problems in legal terms. Restrictions on class actions also have limited the incentives for lawyers to analyze consumers’ problems in a collective framework. The California Attorney General appointed Professor Katherine Porter to be a watchdog for the landmark National Mortgage Settlement. Porter, an expert in consumer law, took a novel approach to ensuring consumers got the rights set forth in the Settlement. The California Monitor Program built from scratch an innovative system for how government responds to consumers seeking help.
ReInvent Law Laboratory, Michigan State University College of Law
The ReInvent Law Laboratory at MSU Law was created by Professors Renee Newman Knake and Dan Katz in spring 2012 to promote innovation in the space of law + tech + design + delivery. Through scholarship, curriculum development, fast-paced conferences, and entrepreneurship training and competitions, ReInvent Law both analyzes and helps build the future of legal services. New courses include e-discovery and quantitative methods for lawyers, a professional ethics course focused on technology, and an entrepreneurial lawyering class that helps bring law students’ ideas to reality. A London study abroad program exposes students to deregulation and innovation in the UK legal market. ReInvent Law has brought thought leaders to the masses with free conferences built around 6-minute Ignite presentations in London, Dubai, and Silicon Valley. The Lab also partners with start-ups and legal tech companies to provide learning and networking opportunities for forward-thinking law students and practicing lawyers.
Riverview Law, Creating a New Model Law Firm
The UK’s Legal Services Act of 2007 was designed to “promote competition, innovation and the public and consumer interest” and served as a catalyst for new business models to deliver on this promise. While the market’s attention was predominantly fixed on the opportunities for individual consumers, one group of executives in an HR services business (AdviserPlus) believed a significant opportunity also existed in the commercial law arena. Presented with several alternatives for entering the market, the decision was taken to start with a blank slate and to build a new organization from the ground up. Drawing on principles more typically taught in business schools than in law schools, the team developed a streamlined fixed-fee business model around the answers to these questions and officially launched Riverview Law in February 2012.