Legal Education: A New Growth Vision Part I—The Issue: Sustainable Growth or Dead Cat Bounce? A Strategic Inflection Point Analysis

134 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018 Last revised: 7 Jul 2019

Date Written: 2018


Legal education programs now face strategic inflection points. To survive and thrive long-term, education programs must embrace entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, platforms, and customer service as the means by which to navigate through strategic inflection points. Imagination, adaptability, agility, determination, and speed will separate market leaders from laggards. Scrappy, entrepreneurial, and action-oriented programs that deliver omni-channel, lifelong knowledge and skills development solutions are the movers that will radically redefine and likely dominate the legal education industry. Slow, tradition-bound programs resistant to change are non-movers that face extinction.

Entrepreneurial education leaders committed to program growth know that since competitive advantages are transitory, they must create and nurture opportunities for continuous innovation. They also recognize the nexuses between customer satisfaction, institutional relevance, program solvency, and employee job security. These mindset shifts, coupled with a bias for action and modernization, will provide fruitful paths for new doctrinal and skill transfer services by legal education programs.

While tinkers to student admissions and traditional business models may temporarily buffer the forces of creative destruction, the market will ultimately sort winners and losers. Because technology does not respect reputations or legacies, incumbent institutions face significant risks from flexible, adaptive and shape-shifting competitors that exploit emerging technologies. These shape-shifters rapidly respond to market changes by re-engineering and reinventing their business models, platforms, systems, and processes to capitalize on emerging trends—with an end goal of human-AI integration.

Bottom line: innovation represents the only firewall to obsolescence.

Keywords: legal education, professional education, strategic inflection point, technology, innovation, artificial intelligence, AI, omni-channel, omnichannel, platform, hybrid, hybrid human-AI, virtualization, open innovation, open business model, platform business model, referral business model

Suggested Citation

Escajeda, Hilary G., Legal Education: A New Growth Vision Part I—The Issue: Sustainable Growth or Dead Cat Bounce? A Strategic Inflection Point Analysis (2018). 97 Neb. L. Rev. 628-761 (2019). Available at SSRN: or

Hilary G. Escajeda (Contact Author)

Graduate Tax Program ( email )

2201 S. Gaylord St
Denver, CO 80208-2685
United States

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