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Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
1
Legal Innovation:
An Engineering Perspective of Law
Harvard Law School
29 Mar, 2022
Ron Dolin
Harvard Law School
Center on the Legal Profession
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
2
Anti-dilution: Lawyer Perspective
If new stock is issued at a price per share lower than the conversion price then in effect
for a particular series of preferred stock, the conversion price of such series will be
reduced to a price determined by multiplying the conversion price by the following
fraction:
[Common Outstanding pre-deal] + [Common issuable for amount raised at old conversion
price]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Common Outstanding pre-deal] + [Common issued in deal]
There are two primary variations of the weighted average formula depending on what
constitutes “Common Outstanding” in the above formula. The first, and more common, is
referred to as “broad-based weighted average” while the second is referred to as “narrow-
based weighted average.”
Broad-based weighted average formula
The calculation of “Common Outstanding” in the broad-based formula includes all shares
of common stock and preferred stock (on an as-converted to common basis) outstanding,
common issuable upon exercise of outstanding options, common reserved for future
issuance under the company’s stock option plan and any other outstanding convertible
securities, such as warrants.
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
3
Anti-dilution: Engineer Perspective
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
4
engineering v. Law
 t-shirt, flip-flops, dog
 long days (start late)
 free food and snacks
 ISO's and salary
 peer-review
 Glitzy Slides?!!
 smart colleagues
 the new new thing
Shirt and Shoes (dress)
Long Days (start early)
Pay or Bill for Meals
Billable Hours
Student Journals
hand slides?!!
Smart Colleagues
IF IT AIN'T BROKE...
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
5
Innovation
 same result in a better way (“sustaining”)
 new result in a different way (“disruptive”)
 discovering/solving latent problems (pain points)
 fair market competition:
 quality
 efficiency
 cost
 access
“Better” for whom? Is legal market “fair”?
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
6
Engineering Principles (YMMV)
 hammers and nails: requirements-based,
design-centered
 “good enough is good enough” (and not good
enough isn't)
 trade-offs (e.g., quality, cost, duration, efficiency)
 metrics (productivity, accuracy)
 testing (unit, functional, etc.)
 project and process management (due dates,
code reviews, budgets)
 standards (public, private)
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
7
Defining a Modern Legal System:
Law 2.0
 Primary norm-applying institutions (Raz):
“required to exercise these powers … binding even when wrong”
(necessary and sufficient conditions listed)
 In force – active, effective/efficient (A2J)
 Rule of recognition (Hart) ($, ©, API)
 Modalities of Regulation (Lessig):
 Punishment vs. prevention: Dexterity,
Transparency
 The right to break the law?
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
8
Good Enough? Innovator's Dilemma
 MS Word vs. Google Docs
 Overproduction of high-end characteristics
 Reluctance to give up cash cow
 Big Law transformation – incentive structure?
 Other areas of the legal system?
 Ecosystem of barriers, overburdened system
(ABS, bureaucracy, adversarial model).
 Sustaining vs. Disruptive vs. Adaptive – what
are current vs. actual core value propositions?
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
9
Quick Note on Standards
 XML (public/private document semantics)
 UTBMS (billing)
 Too much time is spent on reconstructing
document meaning
 XML provides for an integrative, interactive
system rather than static documents
 Billing for outputs (e.g. number of pages)
 Productivity (e.g. cost per page to produce)
 Granular categories allows for price comparison
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
10
Law, Data, and Quality?
"Our partners have won
88.4% of the cases
they have tried in their
careers, as of May
2014."
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
11
Evaluation – Beyond Coin Tosses
 Goals:
 efficiency
 quality (e.g. fairness – process, outcome)
 accessibility
 How much quality is efficiency worth?
 How do we measure quality?
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
12
Quality Questions
 A2J: when is doing nothing better than doing
something “worse”?
 bad wills worse than probate
 bad contracts worse than UCC defaults
 wrong party pays worse than no one pays
 Corporate clients – which firm is best?
 Consumers – which lawyer is best?
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
13
Course Structure
 Guest speakers
 Reading, response papers with questions
 Breadth, depth, projects
 Themes:
 Innovator's Dilemma
 Barriers
 Evaluation and quality metrics
 Appropriate technology
 Design
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
14
Law 2.0 Challenges
 Quality Metrics
 Incentive Structures
 Regulatory Structure
 User-centered Design
 Attracting Engineers (to law)
 Attracting Lawyers (to innovation)
 Career Paths
Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin
15
Ron Dolin
rdolin@law.harvard.edu
Ron.A.Dolin@radicalconcepts.com
radicalconcepts.com
@LegalNoise

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Legal Innovation: An Engineering Perspective of Law

  • 1. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 1 Legal Innovation: An Engineering Perspective of Law Harvard Law School 29 Mar, 2022 Ron Dolin Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession
  • 2. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 2 Anti-dilution: Lawyer Perspective If new stock is issued at a price per share lower than the conversion price then in effect for a particular series of preferred stock, the conversion price of such series will be reduced to a price determined by multiplying the conversion price by the following fraction: [Common Outstanding pre-deal] + [Common issuable for amount raised at old conversion price] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [Common Outstanding pre-deal] + [Common issued in deal] There are two primary variations of the weighted average formula depending on what constitutes “Common Outstanding” in the above formula. The first, and more common, is referred to as “broad-based weighted average” while the second is referred to as “narrow- based weighted average.” Broad-based weighted average formula The calculation of “Common Outstanding” in the broad-based formula includes all shares of common stock and preferred stock (on an as-converted to common basis) outstanding, common issuable upon exercise of outstanding options, common reserved for future issuance under the company’s stock option plan and any other outstanding convertible securities, such as warrants.
  • 3. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 3 Anti-dilution: Engineer Perspective
  • 4. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 4 engineering v. Law  t-shirt, flip-flops, dog  long days (start late)  free food and snacks  ISO's and salary  peer-review  Glitzy Slides?!!  smart colleagues  the new new thing Shirt and Shoes (dress) Long Days (start early) Pay or Bill for Meals Billable Hours Student Journals hand slides?!! Smart Colleagues IF IT AIN'T BROKE...
  • 5. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 5 Innovation  same result in a better way (“sustaining”)  new result in a different way (“disruptive”)  discovering/solving latent problems (pain points)  fair market competition:  quality  efficiency  cost  access “Better” for whom? Is legal market “fair”?
  • 6. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 6 Engineering Principles (YMMV)  hammers and nails: requirements-based, design-centered  “good enough is good enough” (and not good enough isn't)  trade-offs (e.g., quality, cost, duration, efficiency)  metrics (productivity, accuracy)  testing (unit, functional, etc.)  project and process management (due dates, code reviews, budgets)  standards (public, private)
  • 7. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 7 Defining a Modern Legal System: Law 2.0  Primary norm-applying institutions (Raz): “required to exercise these powers … binding even when wrong” (necessary and sufficient conditions listed)  In force – active, effective/efficient (A2J)  Rule of recognition (Hart) ($, ©, API)  Modalities of Regulation (Lessig):  Punishment vs. prevention: Dexterity, Transparency  The right to break the law?
  • 8. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 8 Good Enough? Innovator's Dilemma  MS Word vs. Google Docs  Overproduction of high-end characteristics  Reluctance to give up cash cow  Big Law transformation – incentive structure?  Other areas of the legal system?  Ecosystem of barriers, overburdened system (ABS, bureaucracy, adversarial model).  Sustaining vs. Disruptive vs. Adaptive – what are current vs. actual core value propositions?
  • 9. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 9 Quick Note on Standards  XML (public/private document semantics)  UTBMS (billing)  Too much time is spent on reconstructing document meaning  XML provides for an integrative, interactive system rather than static documents  Billing for outputs (e.g. number of pages)  Productivity (e.g. cost per page to produce)  Granular categories allows for price comparison
  • 10. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 10 Law, Data, and Quality? "Our partners have won 88.4% of the cases they have tried in their careers, as of May 2014."
  • 11. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 11 Evaluation – Beyond Coin Tosses  Goals:  efficiency  quality (e.g. fairness – process, outcome)  accessibility  How much quality is efficiency worth?  How do we measure quality?
  • 12. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 12 Quality Questions  A2J: when is doing nothing better than doing something “worse”?  bad wills worse than probate  bad contracts worse than UCC defaults  wrong party pays worse than no one pays  Corporate clients – which firm is best?  Consumers – which lawyer is best?
  • 13. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 13 Course Structure  Guest speakers  Reading, response papers with questions  Breadth, depth, projects  Themes:  Innovator's Dilemma  Barriers  Evaluation and quality metrics  Appropriate technology  Design
  • 14. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 14 Law 2.0 Challenges  Quality Metrics  Incentive Structures  Regulatory Structure  User-centered Design  Attracting Engineers (to law)  Attracting Lawyers (to innovation)  Career Paths
  • 15. Copyright © 2021 Ron Dolin 15 Ron Dolin rdolin@law.harvard.edu Ron.A.Dolin@radicalconcepts.com radicalconcepts.com @LegalNoise