Over the last few years, we've heard a lot about the "shape" of the new generation of legal professionals. There are "T" shaped lawyers, Delta-shaped ones, and even "O" shaped attorneys. The reality is that we are just building lawyers - it's just that the profession is building lawyers with very different skill sets than in the past. 

Practicing law with words (what I learned over 30 years ago) required one set of skills - we took classes in how to look cases up in books, interpret case law and statutes, and write a well-researched law review article. While these skills remain relevant, practicing law with data (what law students are starting to learn today) requires new skills. But the students who learn those skills aren't "shaped," they are just better trained for what the practice of law will become. Last week included a highlight of this training in action - students from the New York Law School presenting legal technology tools built on Microsoft's Power Platform

Learning how to deploy technology to process data to solve legal problems is turning into the new Law Review, and the result is going to be a new cadre of young lawyers trained to practice with data in addition to words. To paraphrase Microsoft's Jason Barnwell, the future is brighter because of what they are doing.