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Announcing the InnovAction Award 2013 Winners

September 13, 2013

This post is re-published and originally appeared here

Written by Karen Rosen  //  August 15, 2013  //

Two Law Schools and new model law firm are the latest recipients of the College of Law Practice Management’s coveted InnovAction Awards. The 2013 winners are the University of CA Irvine School of Law, Michigan State University College of Law and Riverview Law. The awards will be presented on Friday, October 4, 2013, at a special session during the 2013 Futures Conference, held in conjunction with the College’s Annual Meeting in Chicago.


For the ninth year, the InnovAction Awards have recognized 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. “The InnovAction judges were greatly impressed by the groundbreaking submissions from law firms, law schools and companies,” said Timothy B. Corcoran, Principal of Corcoran Consulting Group and chair of the 2013 awards program. “The winning entries exemplify not only innovation, but the practical necessity for bold ideas to benefit multiple stakeholders. This year’s winners reflect an admirable clients-first approach.”


More About the Winning Entries


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

Key Team Members: ReInvent Law Co-Founders Renee Knake, Associate Professor of Law, MSU Law, and Dan Katz, Assistant Professor of Law, MSU Law.

The market for legal services is undergoing serious transition, presenting both possibility and peril. They believe four pillars of innovation will save our industry: Law+Tech+Design+Delivery. Legal expertise alone is no longer sufficient; lawyers must understand how to utilize technology and principles of design/user-experience to deliver services to untapped markets through new models. Cultivating these pillars is their goal at the ReInvent Law Laboratory, launched in spring 2012.


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.


“Future survival of a vital and contributing legal profession now depends on the innovative, unstuffy thinking of a few individuals and organizations around the world. It is the mission of The College of Law Practice Management to shine a spotlight on extraordinary thinking and impressive implementation to illustrate what can be accomplished when firms dare to take a risk.” said InnovAction judge Thomas S. Clay, consultant, Altman Weil, Inc.


In addition to Tom Clay, InnovAction award judges included Ida Abbott, principal, Ida Abbott Consulting; Patrick Lamb, The Valorem Law Group, Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, Astin Tarlton/Attorney at Work; and Tony Williams, Jomati Consultants LLP. Additionally, Raymond Bailey, Novus Law joined the judging panel this year. Novus Law received an InnovAction Award in 2008.


The 2013 InnovAction Awards are sponsored at the Platinum level by: Attorney at Work; Greenfield/Belser Ltd.; Practical Law Company; and InsideLegal. Gold level sponsors are: ABA Law Practice Management Section; International Legal Technology Association (ILTA); Mattern & Associates; and Ricoh Legal. Silver level sponsors are:  Altman Weil, Inc.; Association of Legal Administrators; Legal Marketing Association and Novus Law.


To learn more about the InnovAction Awards, click here.