The Center for Legal Services Innovation

LegalRnD is dedicated to improving legal-service delivery and access across the legal industry. We accomplish this mission through research and development of efficient, high-quality legal-service delivery tools and systems. We do the research and development that has been lacking in the legal industry.

LegalRnD brings together professionals from a broad range of disciplines. Contributors start with well-established concepts—such as lean thinking—and use them to improve legal-service delivery. We train our students in these concepts and study them with our partners, including: legal aid organizations, solo practitioners, corporate legal departments, law firms, courts, and entire justice systems.

Improved processes for legal-service delivery

Historically, attempting to increase access to legal services has meant pouring resources into existing systems. But that approach has not worked. More recently, the focus has shifted to technology. We also leverage technology, but recognize that poorly defined processes, standards, and metrics lead to ineffective implementation. Understanding existing processes and how they produce (or fail to produce) value for clients creates a pathway to improving legal-service delivery. This way, we can measurably improve access with fewer resources.

LegalRnD believes that innovation through legal research and development will bring the law to everyone. If you share this belief, we would love to work with you.

The Promise of Organizational Excellence

Organizational excellence disciplines have proven extremely effective for improving legal-service delivery. Tools such as process improvement and project management can significantly improve legal-service delivery today. We use lean thinking to implement standards, develop metrics, and collect and analyze data to test solutions. All of this is critical to improving legal-service delivery and laying a foundation for leveraging technology.

Properly implemented, organizational excellence empowers everyone in an organization and transforms its culture. This goes beyond improving efficiency and quality. Organizational excellence can help address legal-industry problems such as work satisfaction, gender equality, and diversity.

Why Michigan State University

LegalRnD is a perfect fit at Michigan State University College of Law. As a prototype land-grant institution, MSU’s mission includes serving the public through finding practical applications for scientific research and technological innovations. Just as MSU was the country’s first higher-ed institution to teach scientific agriculture, LegalRnD aims to lead the legal industry through the use of scientific research and development, organizational excellence, and technology. LegalRnD will relentlessly pursue advancement of the legal profession and public service by providing broader access to legal services.


  • Artificial Intelligence & Law
  • Delivering Legal Services: New Legal Landscapes
  • Quantitative Analysis for Lawyers
  • Information Privacy and Security Law
  • Litigation: {Data, Theory, Practice, & Process}
  • Entrepreneurial Lawyering
  • E-Discovery