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MSU College of Law

September 9, 2013

CONTACT: Kent Love, director of communications, 517-432-6959;

MSU Law Professors Katz and Knake Named 2013 Legal Rebels

Michigan State University College of Law Professors Daniel Martin Katz and Renee Newman Knake were named to the ABA Journal’s list of 2013 Legal Rebels, recognizing the most creative, forward-looking legal practitioners in the country.

The ABA Journal calls its annual list “an honors program for the change leaders of the legal profession.” Katz and Knake are among 10 legal innovators on this year’s list. They join 81 others who were selected in the previous four years of Legal Rebels.

Professors Katz and Knake co-founded the ReInvent Law Laboratory for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in legal services in spring 2012. The project has spawned new courses in e-discovery, quantitative methods for lawyers, professional ethics and technology, and entrepreneurial lawyering at MSU Law, as well as a London study abroad program that exposes students to deregulation and innovation in the U.K. legal market.

Katz and Knake have brought legal professionals, students, entrepreneurs, scholars, and technology experts together to reimagine the future of the profession at fast-paced ReInvent Law conferences in London, Dubai, and Silicon Valley. Their next major event will be held in New York City on February 7, 2014.

Knake—who also co-directs MSU Law’s Frank J. Kelley Institute of Ethics & the Legal profession—focuses her work on ways that law and technology can democratize the delivery of legal services, help fill the legal services gap, and enhance the practice of law.

“If I was going to stand up in front of my students and really believe that having a legal degree and a career as a lawyer can be among the most fulfilling career choices a person can make, I needed to do something to make sure that would be true going forward,” Knake says. Enter ReInvent Law, which she and Katz created as “a space where we can rethink the ways we deliver legal services, and then train our students and practicing lawyers to do it.”

“The part of the legal profession that actually is growing needs people with both substantive technological and legal knowledge,” notes Katz, whose work focuses on the intersection of law, technology, and public policy. “We need lawyers who know the law, understand software and technology, and know how to mesh the two. Companies are desperate to hire people who understand what’s going on.”

Just days before the 2013 Legal Rebels list was revealed, the ReInvent Law Laboratory was named a 2013 InnovAction Award winner in recognition of its work to promote innovation in the legal services industry. According to the College of Law Practice Management, which administers the InnovAction program, the awards highlight “unsung heroes and rising stars within the legal profession who dare to think differently and succeed by doing so.”


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