It’s time to update my March 2016 list of law firm R&D and Innovation Initiatives.

In June 2015 I blogged Law Firm R&D Initiatives Grow – Time for a League Table? after reading a few articles about large law firms with formal and funded R&D initiatives. After some noodling and data collection, I published my list March 2016: R&D in Big Law (and blogged about it at Tracking Law Firm R&D Initiatives).

The list title is R&D but, as I started occasionally adding to the list, I also included firms with funded innovation initiatives. I could not clearly distinguish the two. At the end of 2017, I systematically went through my saved articles for a more thorough update. I was surprised to add only five firms. My surprise grew last week after reading David Cowen‘s LinkedIn update, which opens

35 Chief Innovation Officers (CINO) work at major law firms, including slightly different titles.

I wondered if I had captured only the tip of the iceberg. But then I read Josh Kubicki‘s post, What exactly do you do?” A question for law firm Chief Innovation Officers. Josh held this position and so understands it well. He offers fabulous insight on this role but I focus here on his number one success point

Hiring a leader for innovation or strategy is not a one and done. It is a common mistake to think that one person alone can do what it takes to make this all happen. That is a fallacy and, unfortunately, a pervasive one.

So, I thought, some (many?) firms hire a single person and call it a day. That’s not enough to make my list. As I did in 2015 and 2016, I hope to crowdsource list enhancements, specifically:

  1. Establish reasonably clear criteria for inclusion. My minimum criteria are public documentation (article or firm website) and more than one person.
  2. Suggest other large law firms to include.

Timing for this post on Sunday evening, 28 January 2018 is not coincidental. Legal Tech takes place this coming week. I hope to ask friends I meet there these questions. And if you see me, feel free to talk to me, or hand me a card with a note. Or contact me.