Reflections on ReInvent Regulation Silicon Valley @ 10 Years – Half 1


At present, March 8, 2023, marks 10 years since Daniel Martin Katz, Renee Knake Jefferson and a bunch of colleagues and college students from Michigan State College College of Regulation hosted ReInvent Regulation Silicon Valley on the Laptop Historical past Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Whereas this may increasingly appear a comparatively arbitrary date by which to mark the progress of authorized innovation and know-how, allow us to present two causes to mark this anniversary. 

First, as this submit and the 2 that can comply with it exhibit, ReInvent Regulation had a significant affect on those that spoke, attended, and adopted alongside just about a whole lot or 1000’s of miles away. This wasn’t simply “one other authorized tech occasion.” Second, Bob, writing later about one of many following occasions, ReInvent Regulation New York, stated, “ReInvent Regulation was a manifestation of … a second of unprecedented innovation and creativity … [a] illustration of a a lot bigger groundswell.” If we solely knew what was to come back!

To us, this anniversary gives nearly as good an excuse as any to mirror on what has been an incredible decade for authorized know-how. It additionally affords the chance to acknowledge Dan, Renee, and their colleagues who’ve been significant contributors to this blossoming for excess of 10 quick years and who, within the opinion of the individuals who participated in ReInvent Regulation in a technique or one other, put a significant stake within the floor recognizing all the hassle to attain the cutting-edge for the time but in addition an incredible image of what may and nonetheless could come.

For the subsequent three days, we are going to submit a group of reflections from contributors, attendees or followers of the ReInvent Regulation Silicon Valley occasion. At present, we begin with reflections from three individuals who participated in ReInvent Regulation in a technique or one other. For every of the next two days, we’ll submit three extra reflections. We hope every reflection serves as a “thanks” to the ReInvent Regulation group whereas additionally inspiring you to consider what may come within the subsequent 10 years.

(Half 2) (Half 3)

– Dan Lear and Bob Ambrogi, sequence editors


Dan Lear, Head of Advertising and Partnerships at Gravity Authorized

Dan Lear is head of promoting and partnerships at Gravity Authorized, an digital funds and cash administration agency constructed particularly for legal professionals and legislation corporations. Previous to Gravity Authorized, Dan labored as director of trade relations for the authorized market Avvo and, earlier than that, as a know-how lawyer. He’s based mostly in Seattle, Wash.

Two essential, and associated, issues occurred to me within the spring of 2013. First, I joined Twitter. I gave a complete presentation to the Massachusetts LOMAP on Twitter and its affect on my profession a number of years again. So, go examine that out for those who’re curious. The second, associated, and extra essential factor occurred a number of quick weeks later.

Grinding away as a annoyed hourly desk-jockey lawyer the morning of March 13, 2013, I stumbled throughout the dwell Twitter feed of the ReInvent Regulation Silicon Valley occasion. This discovery was nothing wanting a revelation. Regardless of the mountain of hours that I knew I needed to invoice that day, I couldn’t tear myself away. The occasion was stuffed with authorized professionals — a lot of them legal professionals like me: Ed Walters, Chas Rampenthal, Nicole Auerbach — difficult all the things from the billable hour, to possession of the legislation, to what legal professionals may be taught from retail. I used to be so impressed I wrote a chunk for my bar affiliation, exhorting my fellow attorneys to concentrate to the messages from ReInvent Regulation.

At present, I can draw an almost unbroken line from that spring morning via later talking on the ReInvent Regulation New York occasion in 2014, to my previous work at Avvo, to my present skilled endeavors at Gravity Authorized and Off The Document. That journey’s too lengthy, and doubtless too boring, for this fast piece so for now, I need to shout out ReInvent Regulation organizers Dan Katz and Renee Knake Jefferson. Certainly, authorized know-how and innovation existed earlier than ReInvent Regulation however, for me, all of it started one morning 10 years in the past when selected to I ignore my billable hour requirement and tune in to Dan and Renee’s ReInvent Regulation revolution.  


R. Amani Smathers, Sr. Apply Improvements Analyst, Chapman and Cutler LLP

Amani is a senior authorized options skilled with expertise serving to authorized groups discover higher and quicker methods to perform their authorized work, operational duties, and targets. Since being an early participant within the ReInvent Regulation program at MSU Regulation, she has turn out to be a part of a world community of pros considering rethinking the way in which we ship authorized providers, with a thoughts in the direction of steady enchancment and entry to justice.

After finding out with Dan Katz and Renee Newman Knake at MSU Regulation, Amani has gone on to work with among the main innovation groups in massive U.S. legislation corporations, together with SeyfarthLean at Seyfarth Shaw, De Novo at Davis Wright Tremaine, and Apply Improvements at Chapman and CutlerShe enjoys her work designing and implementing authorized and enterprise options for the agency and its purchasers, and pays ahead the teachings realized from ReInvent Regulation as an adjunct teacher with MSU Regulation’s present Heart for Regulation, Expertise & Innovation (CLT&I).

It’s troublesome to overstate ReInvent Regulation’s affect on my profession. As a legislation scholar and up to date graduate of MSU Regulation, I helped Dan and Renee (then affiliate professors) manage the ReInvent Regulation conferences, together with Silicon Valley 2013. The teachings I realized from Dan and Renee, and the group that ReInvent Regulation helped kind, have formed my view of the authorized trade and my profession. 

Under are values I realized then and maintain true right this moment:

  • Regulation + Expertise + Design + Supply. Dan and Renee’s 4 pillars of ReInvent Regulation instilled in me the significance of incorporating disciplines past conventional lawyering to modernize and enhance authorized service supply for purchasers and suppliers. This concept additionally impressed my T-Formed Lawyer presentation at ReInvent Regulation NYC 2014, an idea that’s nonetheless mentioned right this moment. Additionally, “Human + Machine > Human or Machine.” This mantra from Dan will ceaselessly information me to view know-how as a device, quite than an finish aim.
  • Presentation issues. Dan and Renee understood the significance of excessive manufacturing worth to create pleasure and elevate content material. Additionally, consideration spans are quick. Transient displays allowed us to share the utmost variety of presenters and concepts with the viewers, and spark curiosity for additional conversations.
  • Sharing data accelerates innovation. Dan’s insistence on not solely offering a free convention but in addition paying to file the displays and share them on-line (made potential by a grant from the Kauffman Basis) means that there’s a treasure trove of information and insights nonetheless accessible from the Reinvent Regulation occasions. I proceed to return to among the movies for inspiration, years later.
  • There’s energy in networks. Sharing data can be a technique to construct group. Dan and Renee inspired college students to construct private manufacturers and community with the skilled group, as a technique to discover alternatives that in any other case won’t exist. By way of communications with our audio system and conversations on the occasions, I made significant connections with GCs, authorized firm CEOs, tech founders, legislation agency leaders, and visionaries – that I doubtless couldn’t have made as a legislation scholar another means.
  • We should always attempt for significant and fulfilling careers. Serving to college students discover fulfilling careers in legislation was one among Renee’s said targets in co-founding ReInvent Regulation. Wanting again, I really feel so lucky to have had a legislation professor who talked about well-being and about alternatives for private achievement past the standard lawyer paths—uncommon subjects in legislation faculties. This worth continues to assist orient me in occupied with what I need out of life and work.
  • Regulation professors ought to concentrate on scholarship and serving to their college students succeed. Dan and Renee are each incredible students and “doers” of their areas of focus. And, fairly uniquely, additionally they considered their college students’ success as a measure of their success as professors. One of many methods this manifested was that they reserved slots in every packed convention agenda for displays by college students that we pitched and improved with them (which itself was invaluable). They gave us a platform to share concepts and place us as already-peers of the professionals within the room.
  • The roles you’ll have sometime could not exist but. ReInvent Regulation conferences had been stuffed with presenters forging new paths within the authorized sphere. Dan additionally burdened to ReInvent Regulation college students the significance of steady studying, particularly because of the charge of change in know-how. I’m all the time subtly reminded of that lesson in his trademark parting message of “Extra to come back.”

The ReInvent Regulation occasions offered free information sharing and a gathering place for the authorized innovation group.  I respect all of the tribute messages shared on this article. Personally, I need to particularly thank Dan and Renee for the lifelong classes and for uplifting us (college students and convention attendees) to make connections and forge fulfilling careers in trendy authorized service supply.


Andy Ninh, Director, Options, at Elevate 

Andy is the director, options at Elevate, enabling its prospects to unravel their authorized and enterprise challenges by leveraging progressive applied sciences and operational enhancements. Following his involvement in ReInvent Regulation, Andy developed a eager understanding of the evolving authorized panorama and the position that know-how performs in remodeling the supply of authorized providers, having acquired a novel mix of “T-Formed Lawyer” abilities via invaluable experiences in start-up and legislation division/agency/firm operations, design, AI/ML, know-how growth and product administration, options architecting, buyer success, and Go-To-Market technique. Earlier than becoming a member of Elevate, he was lucky to have a number of “new legislation” and hybrid authorized roles, together with a Authorized Enterprise Options guide at UnitedLex, and a Authorized Options Architect at Seyfarth. Andy is a member of the New York Bar and earned his JD from Michigan State College School of Regulation and his BS in Biochemistry from The College of Florida. Andy requested ChatGPT to jot down the preliminary draft of this bio, and it was intriguingly correct. Thrilling instances!

It’s onerous to imagine that it has been 10 years since I had the life-changing luck to attend and converse on the 2013 ReInvent Regulation Silicon Valley convention. Wanting again on this expertise, I understand how a lot this cast my profession path and private ambition. I’ve since had the pleasure of befriending or working with a number of convention audio system/attendees and people who joined this area due to them.

As a 2L legislation scholar at Michigan State School of Regulation on the time, I had concluded my Entrepreneurial Lawyering class, co-taught by professors Renee Knake Jefferson and Daniel Martin Katz, by profitable the “Most Artistic Pitch” award in our startup pitch competitors for offering on-demand authorized providers utilizing augmented actuality (AR) know-how. I vividly bear in mind the spark of inspiration I obtained once I first noticed an idea video for Google Glass, a really early AR headset, displaying what it might be like to make use of an AR headset “One Day.” I assumed if you may get real-time visible instructions and location-based social media updates, you possibly can absolutely get AR-based authorized steering (e.g., jaywalking violations enforced on ABC Road) or on-demand authorized recommendation (e.g., what to do/not do throughout a visitors cease, and so on.). With this, Renee, Dan, and Michael Bommarito (additionally instrumental in beginning ReInvent Regulation) invited me to talk on the convention. I shortly modified my spring break plans and booked last-minute journey and lodging for the convention, and it was probably the greatest choices I’ve ever made.

Being a long-time tech fanatic, I used to be enamored by Silicon Valley, from the luxury boutique accommodations and Huge Tech and startup logos lining the workplace buildings to the laidback hustle tradition and early-model Tesla EVs roaming the streets. On convention day, I used to be nervous about talking on stage in entrance of a giant crowd however excited by the networking expertise and vitality that crammed the auditorium. As a scholar, I used to be a bit starstruck by the proficient speaker pool and the businesses/corporations they labored at (or based). I used to be significantly excited that David Estrada, then Authorized Director at Google X Labs (the very place Google Glass was being developed), was talking. Upon sharing this with Renee, she promptly launched us, and I’ll always remember what occurred after I shared my elevator pitch with David. He requested, “so, do you need to go attempt it within the lab?”

Going via the key entrance of the bat cave lab on Google’s campus and getting a primary take a look at the place the magic was occurring, I spotted how surreal this was. Google Glass was not but accessible to the general public, and sure nobody outdoors of Google had seen, not to mention touched, it earlier than. For somebody outdoors of the corporate, this felt like a once-in-a-lifetime alternative. Whereas I can’t say exactly what I noticed inside, it’s public information that Google X was engaged on Google Glass and self-driving automobiles (the premise of David’s presentation), and there have been some really unbelievable improvements. Getting hands-on with the Google Glass prototype, I may instantly discern its prospects (and limitations).

Energized by this unbelievable expertise, I returned and took the stage with new confidence. It was really exceptional to not solely current forward-thinking concepts to the viewers but in addition to imagine that they might materialize, having used the identical machine I used to be hypothesizing about earlier than its public launch. You in all probability won’t bear in mind precisely what I talked about, however you’ll positively recall my dazzling teal chino pants, a sartorial alternative I nonetheless second-guess. I imply, who wears bright-colored pants to a authorized tech occasion? This man, apparently! I suppose this was not sufficient to forestall me from being invited again to current on the 2014 ReInvent Regulation New York convention with a refined and advanced presentation whereas donning Google Glass on stage as an early adopter.

I realized a number of issues as a Glass Explorer:

  1. It’s awkward to put on an AR headset in public when a number of individuals assume you’re recording them (false impression);
  2. The world was not prepared to simply accept the sort of know-how, at the least outdoors of particular industries;
  3. There may be a lot potential that will go unfulfilled with this know-how (or it should take a very long time to come back to fruition); and
  4. Those that push the boundaries stretch the chances, and I imagine we are going to proceed to see new know-how improvements that form our trade (I’m significantly bullish on generative AI and ChatGPT).

I need to thank Renee, Dan, and Michael for extending the chance to be part of ReInvent Regulation and guiding me down this “New Regulation / Authorized Innovation” profession path, which I’m nonetheless touring. This allowed me to encourage others to take part on this area, create new roles inside our trade that weren’t accessible once I was a legislation scholar, and create lifelong friendships and a incredible skilled community. Plus, I obtained to group up with Dan and Mike at Elevate following its LexPredict acquisition, an unforgettable expertise. I’m past fortunate to proceed working with a number of forward-thinking trailblazers in our trade, like my rockstar colleague Nicole Auerbach (who can be contributing to this piece) and lots of different sensible of us I can’t name-drop proper now. None of this may have been potential with out ReInvent Regulation, and I’m ceaselessly grateful.  

Look ahead to half two of our remembrances tomorrow. 


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