As we make our way to the next version of the workforce in a post-pandemic world, we look back at a discussion of the Delta Model Competencies with Northwestern Law School’s Alyson Carrel and Vanderbilt Law School’s Cat Moon. This interview from November of 2019 is possibly more relevant today than it was when we initially recorded it. While we typically focus on the T-Shaped lawyer model of being an expert in certain areas of the law, and knowledgeable of the necessary disciplines and technology. Moon and Carrel add a third layer to this model to cover the personal effectiveness skills needed to provide effective legal services.
In their recent substack articles, Moon and Carrel have continued expanding the Delta Model competencies to fit the current disruption in the legal services industry. While the pandemic is the most obvious disrupter, there are many other factors within the work environment that make the Delta Model even more useful today as it did in its inception.

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Greg Lambert  0:06

Welcome to The Geek in Review. The podcast focused on the innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Greg Lambert, Marlene Gebauer and I are going to take a couple of weeks off, but we want to replace some of our episodes that we think are very relevant as we move into this next phase of the legal industry work. This week we have our discussion with Alyson Carrel of Northwestern law school and Cat Moon of Vanderbilt law school discussing the Delta competency model is such a great topic and it’s really especially relevant today. So we hope you enjoy this rebroadcast and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks with a new show.

Greg Lambert  0:45

We’d like to welcome Alyson Carroll and Cat Moon to today’s show. Alyson is the Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Assistant Director for the Center on Negotiation and Mediation at Northwestern Law School. And Cat Moon is well known to our regular listeners. I think this is your third show Cat.

Cat Moon  1:01


Greg Lambert  1:01

And Cat is the director of innovation design for Vanderbilt laws program on law and innovation or Polly, we’re very happy to have you both on The Geek in Review. So welcome.

Cat Moon  1:11


Alyson Carrel  1:12

Thanks so much, Greg.

Marlene Gebauer  1:13

So over the past few episodes, we’ve mentioned the T shaped lawyer, which was coined by Davis Wright Tremain’ss Amani Smathers when she was at Michigan State law school. A T-shaped lawyer has deep expertise, the long vertical bar of the T, but also has enough knowledge have an appreciation for other disciplines. So that’s the shallower horizontal bar of the T, such as technology, business, analytics, and data security to better problem solve and collaborate with professionals with expertise in those areas.

Greg Lambert  1:46

So Alyson and Cat along with a research team of other scholars built upon this model to define what is known as the Delta model competency for today’s modern lawyer. All right, that’s enough of us talking Alyson, would you mind walking us through how the Delta model works?

Alyson Carrel  2:03

Absolutely. Thanks again for having us both on the show and giving us a chance to talk about this new model. As you both mentioned, we built the Delta model off of the T shaped lawyer that Amani smathers coined with the idea being that the T shaped lawyer provided a model for people to understand some of the new skills that law professionals need in order to be successful in the 21st century. And we just added a third side. So the Delta model is essentially comprised of three competency areas, the law, the legal knowledge and skills traditionally, related to the practice of law that relates to the vertical bar of the tea, then you have the right side of the tea, which relates to the delivery of legal services, this is equivalent to the shallow horizontal bar of the tea. And so those skills related to technology, business data analytics. And then the third area is personal effectiveness skills, an area that many of us have been promoting as part of the practice of law for years. But it’s becoming increasingly important for us to shine a spotlight on given the increasingly the increasing use and reliance on technology in the practice of law. So the three areas come together to form a triangle, which looks like the Greek alphabet letter of the alphabet, the Delta, which can also mean change. So we purposefully use the delta to try to capture what we’re seeing in the legal profession, the changes that we’re seeing, but also to reflect changes that individuals will experience over time in the legal profession, individually and at their organization.

Greg Lambert  3:54

Very clever.

Marlene Gebauer  3:55

So the T shaped lawyer has the law, knowledge and tech and process skills. But the third side of this triangle is the interpersonal skills. And why is this so important to include in the Delta model?

Alyson Carrel  4:10

it’s really important to add this third area for a couple of different reasons. So historically, there has been a movement to talk about the relationship lawyers have with their client and client centered loitering, and that we are at its heart, a service profession. And so utilizing skills related to emotional intelligence, the ability to understand relate to our clients has always been important. But in the 21st century, as lawyers and organizations are starting to use more artificial intelligence and data analytics to inform some of our decisions. The distinguishing value that we as human lawyers present is our ability to sit with clients and help them understand that data And how that data informs what decision they should make and how to play out that decision. So we need to counsel our clients, we need to understand the context in which these decisions are being made. And that relationship as a trusted adviser, as a counselor, relies on our ability to understand and relate to and empathize with our clients. So we felt that it was important to pull out the personal effectiveness skills from what is traditionally, hopefully, but understood as part of the delivery of legal services to really shine a spotlight on it. Given that this is the area that’s going to be increasingly our distinguishing value that we present. You know, we hear that that those that are newer to the profession are innately tech savvy, or digital natives yet,

Marlene Gebauer  5:56

I’m sure if you spoke with some of the Allied professionals at firms, they would tell you that these attorneys have not had exposure to the tools that they’re going to be using, they do not know how they can be effectively used. They don’t understand the cost of the tools. And and what I mean by cost is the entire cost of the time spent using them or developing, developing them along with any actual hard cost. Now, I don’t want to suggest that the focus should be specifically on branded tools, because those change over time, but the general uses for groupings of tools, whether that be tools that support analytics, or tools that support contract management, along with generally how they work, the core differences between them in terms of the tech used or the content set. That is part of it. Is this happening as part of the Delta model training,

Cat Moon  6:53

I would say I can speak to how we are addressing the revolt, in PoLI. And in I think that we have an approach that other schools across the country, I know, Alyson definitely can speak to this from her experience at Northwestern. And so, but it’s kind of a precursor to that. I would say that our work in the Delta model is nascent. And so we have been in the process with the support of Thomson Reuters of conducting research to kind of understand what some baselines are an existing practice. And I think part of the real power of the Delta model is our belief that the skills and competencies required will continue to evolve. And so really, that concept of change in agility, I think is, is critical. And that really goes to your question about technology. So from my perspective, and how we approach it, and Polly, the value comes from teaching young lawyers how to have a genuine curiosity about technology. And along with that, an understanding of what various technologies exist, so more categories as opposed to branded tools, but categories and how they serve really to empower the delivery of legal services and the ability really our ability to function and think like all yours. Our goal in PoLI is always to build in experiential opportunities with technology as part of the coursework, we endeavor to integrate it so that the students are doing the work, leveraging technology of a type that would be relevant in a similar practice situation, so that they are gaining an understanding of the scope and capabilities of different technologies in relevant instances of their use. For me, I think also helping them really develop a genuine curiosity and a desire to learn coming at it from I guess, a very positive place as opposed to the fear and I hesitate to use the word loading, but sometimes the loading as well that I think practicing attorneys sometimes Express, and I think it’s relevant to point out here as well, and I will reference a visit that Nikki Shaver who the director of innovation at Paul Hastings, she was on I think the last podcast conversation I had with you all, she joined in that conversation. So she just visited my my class at Vanderbilt, this actually this week. And one point she made and I think we’ve just got to consider this in terms of young lawyers coming in even if they have these really great mindsets and are open and have this knowledge about technology. Often the environment in which they enter does not support them. Their exploration and curiosity about technology. So the billable hour often can have the opposite effect. So Paul Hastings actually has a program whereby young associates can get essentially credit for billable hours by being engaged in programs that Nicki puts forward to look into new technology and integrate them into the practice. And so I think we definitely can provide some training and create some healthy mindsets. And then when our young lawyers get into the practice, some things need to happen there as well. For their, you know, I think their continued development so that they say that they remain curious as opposed to becoming sort of fearful.

Greg Lambert  10:43

That’s great. Yeah, I know that, at the law firm level, that professional development is becoming much more ingrained, especially in the first few years, that the old dogs at the firm are being taught that things like business development just can’t wait five years, before we start exposing them, you know that we’ve got to start immediately, as much as the industry would love to get off the billable hour, it’s still kind of the nature of the game. And by adjusting some of the things to allow them to have credit for billable hours doing professional development, I think does a couple of things. One, it pulls the pressure off of the associates on if I’m doing this, then I’m going to miss out on my bonus at the end of the year. And two, it also shows the law firm is really putting some of their own money behind, you know, they’re putting their money where their mouth is. Now, I want to turn this around a bit and put it back on the law schools. Because Alyson your cohort, Daniel Rodriguez there at Northwestern, as much as he would love to, for things to really take off, he meets the reality of the fact that there’s still a mission of the law school. And the mission of the law school is to make sure that they are training law students to be lawyers, and training them to have enough information to pass the bar and be out there. And so things like this, how do you get the faculty to buy in on this type of concept, which really does kind of shift the focus of the law school on their normal mission, and allows them to create a holistic approach of training law students to face the legal profession. So how do you handle that?

Alyson Carrel  12:24

Well, I think it’s a great question. And there’s very few examples of law schools that have as a institution and as a faculty have realized and adopted this more holistic approach. But we have tons of examples of initiatives large and small across law schools, where students are being put in the seat where they’re having to be curious where they’re having to engage, where they’re having to learn new technologies, assess those technologies, and that specific platforms ability to meet the need of a client. So we have examples of a ton of different types of innovation labs at schools, where students are partnering with outside firms, legal service organizations, to design a solution that might include technology, this is one of the selling points to some faculty. technology’s not always answered, right People First, we have to understand what that problem is and where technology can be the solution, then the students have to be prepared to analyze, assess, evaluate, build those tech tools. In addition, though, I would share it. So I have played the role at the law school as our assistant dean of law and technology. And I’m passionate about this area. But my my background is really in dispute resolution, which is all about the face to face.

Greg Lambert  13:49

I was gonna say that’s a valuable skill to have there. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

Alyson Carrel  13:55

So you know, in my classes, we’re doing negotiation simulations, mediation simulations, where where the students are sitting together, and trying to use strategies and processes to resolve disputes. That’s part of the Delta model. So that’s important, but your question was about the technology. And so even in those classes, you can incorporate technology in ways that require students to flex that tech fluency muscle where I introduce to them a new tool, they have to quickly learn it, they have to assess whether or not it would actually enhance the situation, or the process that they’re using, and then talk about it afterwards. So it’s the learning, it’s the using and then the evaluating that you can implement even in classes like negotiation mediation that I teach.

Marlene Gebauer  14:46

So it’s like it’s critical thinking, I mean, basically is what you’re teaching them which you know, is can can be applied across a variety of areas.

Greg Lambert  14:56

All right. Well, you know, my thoughts were that even something Apart from the technology, do you get feedback from the law professors that say, Look, I’m here to teach you the law and how they can understand the law, all this touchy feely personal stuff, you know, hey, go go learn that soft skills who

Marlene Gebauer  15:15


Greg Lambert  15:18

Yeah, look, I’m here to teach you, you know, property law or contracts, don’t make me change, you know, change my method just because people feel like we need to touch the soul of the student in order to make them a better lawyer.

Marlene Gebauer  15:33

Yeah, I mean, we got to focus strictly on theory, because the that’s the this is the only place they’re going to get that.

Greg Lambert  15:38

Sorry, I was funneling my old torch teacher there. By the way. It sounded a little personal, Greg. pretty specific, probably.

Cat Moon  15:50

Well, I’ll hop in really quickly to say that as part of our work with a Delta model, we are conducting research. So we’re asking the people who hire our graduates, what are you looking for? And increasingly, they are looking for young lawyers who have these very critical personal effectiveness skills. And often that rates as high if not more, more highly than the practice skills of thinking like a lawyer and all that goes along with that. So I think we cannot ignore the fact that we are preparing students for a profession and entering that profession requires exercising these skills, often at a fairly high level. So does that mean that everyone you know, on the law school faculty has to buy in to reimagining how they teach in order to impart these skills? I don’t think so. I think that there are in the existing pedagogical heuristic, there are a number of opportunities. So clinics, the courses in PoLI, the courses that Alyson teaches, you find those are similar ones across the spectrum across law schools, I think, what we can do that really is important is to more fully embrace and acknowledge the value that these girls bring, and where it is appropriate, and where it is possible to give students the opportunity to have those skills modeled for them, to give them the opportunity to really affirmatively acknowledge what it looks like to practice these skills and the opportunity to practice them, we certainly can do a better job of expanding that across the law school curriculum. In my observation,

Greg Lambert  17:45

here here. That kind of dovetails nicely into my next question, which, so I’m going to make a very large generalization about a group of people. So I’m just gonna ask for forgiveness now. But with students that you have in law school now, especially those who will wind up in big law firms, or will go out and be clerks and then go on to either work in big law, or Wall Street, or K Street jobs, you know, these are the people that have had a lot of success in their lives. However, they are also of the generation who are just simply not afraid to call out problems, and try to right the wrongs that they see. But the biggest issue is that most experts agree that they won’t necessarily use the traditional chain of command to voice this displeasure, they will go straight to the top of the organization and lodge their complaints.

Marlene Gebauer  18:40

And I want to piggyback on this a bit. So sort of this communication theme, you know, students and newer lawyers, you know, communicate, mostly through text, they, this is often seen as in personal, sometimes not the most effective sort of communication. You know, if you’re going back and forth with texts, it’s often more effective to speak directly to resolve the issue. You know, going back to Greg’s points there the different ways this newer crowd communicates,

Greg Lambert  19:08

yeah, and then the behavior is really kind of what I’m looking at, because of the interpersonal skills side of the Delta model. You know, this type of interpersonal skill is exactly the opposite of what we expect in a big law environment. So we expect people to follow the chain of command to follow the rules, even though we’re not very good at telling them what the rules are, to pay to pick up

Marlene Gebauer  19:33

to pick to pick up the phone, you know, to to have, you know, face to face communication.

Greg Lambert  19:38

That is a very long way about asking this question. When these students land at their first job in legal whose personality adjust, do they need to adjust their skills on how they go and approach this? Or are law firms going to have to adjust and understand that there’s just a new enter personal skill set out there that you can find it, but eventually is going to win.

Alyson Carrel  20:06

Oh, so I it’s fascinating because I think all professions and all businesses are hitting this where the generational clash is saying, this is the way that we do things. And the new generation comes in and says, Nope, that’s not the way we’re gonna do it. And so I

Greg Lambert  20:23

say, OK, Boomer.

Alyson Carrel  20:30

So I think we need a strategy that allows both to change. So we need to look at examples, highlight examples of leadership that is progressive and sees the benefit of doing things differently. So looking at the dentons, the baker McKenzie’s the Paul Hastings and how they’re changing success that they have. So it makes me think of Dan linas innovation index and how we’re trying to give a platform to say this is a positive, and we’re going to, we’re going to put it out there so that other people can see and be motivated by this. And he doesn’t call it a ranking, but this index, and then from the other side, I don’t, however they do it, whether they go straight to the top, or they work through the chain of command, or they just, they just do things differently without even complaining. They are the millennial generation is now the largest generation, and it is going to force change in our legal education in our professions in the law firms. And it’s just there, it’s going to be required clients are going to become, we’re going to start to see our client base differently, they’re going to be from the millennial generation, they’re going to be demanding these different approaches to communication to accessibility. And so I think first, I just think this change is going to happen, whether it’s adaption from the top or from the new lawyers as they graduate, it, we cannot ignore this force of change from the millennial generation, it’s going to force change. So too bad boomers

Marlene Gebauer  22:18

is what I’m hearing.

Alyson Carrel  22:23

And Generation X, um, we’re

Unknown Speaker  22:25


Greg Lambert  22:27

no Generation X is perfect.

Marlene Gebauer  22:31

We were wonderful. You know, I’m listening to this, and I’m really seeing a serious potential for for for culture clash here, you know, based upon, you know, what, we’re talking about generational differences, and based on the current model, and what is valued there versus what may be valued in the future. And, you know, a common theme on the podcast is, you know, how are academics working, you know, with law departments or firms, you know, bar associations, courts, governments, CLE providers, you know, to establish a plan for change management. And I know, both of you hit upon a couple of examples earlier, but, you know, it seems like it’s just sort of very beginning. And it’s, it’s, it’s not as integrated, I guess, as as all of us would probably like, because, you know, there’s there’s a lot of academic groups that are doing some really interesting things. But, you know, I always talk to people, you know, either in legal departments or firms and you know, they’re not, they’re still not aware of what’s going on. And it seems unclear if there’s a real partnership with, you know, the commercial and government side of the house. So, is there this collaboration and and how is it shaping up? Do you see what I did there shape?

Greg Lambert  23:47


Cat Moon  23:48

Oh, this is Cat, I’ll chime in very briefly to say that, I think traditionally, there really hasn’t been a very strong connection between the practice in what happens in law school. And I think those points of connection have existed in very specific places, and definitely in in clinics. But that’s not really a connection directly to the practice, I think the way that you’re referring to, and then there obviously, is a connection once students are about to graduate and say the Career Services Office really has been the primary connection to the, to the practice. So I think there’s an incredible amount of opportunity for more flow of learning and conversation and collaboration to go back and forth. And that is a primary objective of mine, at Vanderbilt. So I’ve been working really to build a network to connect into the practice kind of along the spectrum, to help understand to really help our students understand how they can better be developing using the Delta model, for example, and be developing the skills that are really going to serve them well in practice and having this really come directly from the mouths of people who are in the practice. So to it bringing folks like Nikki shaver in to talk to my students and having her say, here’s what matters, here’s what’s important, here are the skills that you need to be focused on. So creating those opportunities for students to hear these things from practicing professionals, and not just law professors. So I think I think that’s critical. There’s a lot more I could say on this topic, because I’m rather passionate about it. But I would love to hear what Alyson has to say,

Marlene Gebauer  25:24

Well, I want to just jump in before Alyson get started and say, I really like what you’re doing, in addition to sort of bringing people you know, bringing people in to speak to the students, I mean, you’re also bringing professionals in for their own types of conferences to make them aware, sort of, of what’s happening in your group and what you’re teaching. So, you know, I know you did, you know, you did failure camp, and you’re doing, you know, a variety of other types of conferences, just to get awareness up, you know, with within the more commercial side of the house. So I think that’s great. Thank

Cat Moon  25:55

you. We are definitely trying, because I think that information play needs to go both ways.

Alyson Carrel  26:00

Absolutely. Yeah. Shout out to Cat for those amazing conferences, failure Camp solly. There, you bring together such a diverse group of individuals from across the profession, that those conversations are real and change can happen from them. We are at Northwestern, we have launched a new legal technology initiative with Dan, with the dance, this one headed by Dan linna. And starting with monthly meetings with folks from law firms, legal aid organizations, academics, as well as law students and students from our computer science program at the University with a goal of identifying where there’s an overlap and interest and then moving that overlap of interest into a project. on a smaller scale. We have our innovation lab where we have outside organizations, commercial government, Legal Aid, as well as individuals, clinics from within Northwestern presenting challenges and the delivery of legal services to students in the class. And the students in the class are really interdisciplinary. So I mentioned like at the monthly meetings, its law students, as well as computer science students, we also have our LLM students, tend to be international practicing attorneys, as well as our Masters of Science in law students that come to Northwestern for a year of study with a stem background, to look at how the law informs their profession. And they work in groups to partner with the outside organization to build a solution to whatever problem they have presented. So I think they’re an end we’re not the only innovation that we need to this is just one example. But there are ways for for us to integrate these different groups with the law schools, and demonstrate to the students what’s possible, but then actually having them be part of the solution, which I think gets them just so jazzed, so excited, it’s really cool at the end of the semester, to see what they’re able to create. I just wanted to jump in and and say yes to what Alison just said, giving students the chance to work on these real world problems with folks in the practice. And so my legal problem solving course does the same thing. That’s my fall course happening right now. So

Cat Moon  28:32

I have my teams of students are actually working with legal aid service providers in the Administrative Office of the court to solve these very real access to legal services problems that these organizations are facing. And you know, their solutions are going to be put out in the world and implemented. So it’s incredibly exciting and so much more meaningful for the students to work on real problems. So that interaction is key. And I will make just one final point. So I’ve been teaching this course for three years. And when I started, I went out into the world and ask people, please bring us your challenges, and let my students help. They want to help you solve these problems. And most folks looked at me as if I had a third arm, third eye coming up. And on my head, we don’t really understand in part, I think, because there hasn’t been this connection between law school and the practice. It’s just it’s still new to folks. I now have people coming to me and saying I hear you have students who want to help us solve problems. And I’m like, Yes.

Greg Lambert  29:34

Alright, that’s all I wanted to add. Thanks. I just had a vision of the third eye Raven from Game of Thrones and how you know people are understanding what that is so well, you guys have talked about some of the tools that you use there at the law school, on getting students up to speed understanding the you know, this using real world issues and creating tangible Things that they can see at the end of the semester, what suggestions would you have for how law firms or once the student is out practicing, that they continue this education? How, what are some of the tips that you can give us to maintain this and continue this lifelong learning

Cat Moon  30:21

to circle it back around to the Delta model, I think that again, our work on the model is still nascent, we’re still conducting research and kind of building out what this means we really hope it’s going to be a tool that anyone a law student can use to plan his or her progression through law school to really make intentional choices. And often, really intentional guidance isn’t necessarily part of the planning process for law students. And so to create that, and then really to be a valuable tool for practicing legal professionals to us as they consider their own journey where they want to go, what their goals are, and what what different roles they may have the opportunity to fill will require. And and that’s really the beauty of the agility of the model, understanding that different roles will require different skill sets, and give folks opportunity to work on building different skills. So Vanderbilt does have an professional development platform for practicing legal professionals, the PoLI Institute, and say we offer our innovation curriculum to folks out in the practice so that they can come and experience these methods and tools and in a very hands on way with the goal that they can take these back into their organizations, and use them and also use them for their own professional continuing development. It’s my hope, as we get further into our work in the Delta model, that we are going to create some very tangible, meaningful practical tools for people across the spectrum of their development that they can use to really be intentional and to help guide them in where they choose to put their efforts in professional development. And hopefully, to guide people who create content for professional development. There’s, you know, a lot out there, and it can sometimes be hard to figure out where to go for, for what so that’s really one of my strong passions right now is to start working on creating these tools. And then we have some pilots that we are planning in some different places, legal departments, law firms, and with our students to start experimenting with some of these tools. And hopefully, fine tune those and get them out into the world so that people can can use them. I believe a person who plans their professional development and executes it intentionally, is more likely to thrive and have a much more satisfying practice. And we need more of that in law as well.

Alyson Carrel  32:56

You know, one of the things that is part of these pilots that we’re trying to develop is a tool that embodies a growth mindset. So and we can use the Delta model to reflect on the skills that we currently bring to the table, as well as the skills that we need to develop as opposed to saying what our shortcomings are, or predefined what type of job we should be in based on our current skill set. We’re hoping that the Delta model and the corresponding assessment tool can help an individual plan out their professional development as Cat was describing to be intentional that curricular choices while in law school, or additional training certificates, when they’re out in practice, that there’s always opportunities for growth, there’s always a way to change and explore, and that we are not defined or limited to a single path Delta model really can reflect multiple different paths within the legal profession. And I think Cat and I tried to be very intentional about the use of the word legal profession instead of or legal professional, as opposed to lawyer so that we can reflect the variety of jobs that exist and that are growing, besides the traditional role of lawyer, and the Delta model can reflect those other paths as well. And I think that that’s excellent, because again, it sort of leads to the whole idea of, you know, teams and appreciation for those with those other types of skills that are basically supporting the practice and and, you know, sort of having that experience in law school.

Marlene Gebauer  34:42

Well, I’m really interested in what you both have said about this because I think it dovetails nicely into my question here. You know, a challenge and I will say attorneys because it’s usually attorneys that are doing this, this type of role is that they They may not often know how to effectively sell some of these new ideas. So selling the idea of, you know, hey, our attorneys, our delta model attorneys, and this is why it’s important to clients. And, you know, I feel that there’s a significant opportunity there for, you know, communication that’s been lost. So how do we improve upon that? Well, so

Alyson Carrel  35:25

I think it’s important to figure out who we are selling this model to. And when we first started this project, one of our goals was to better understand and visualize and capture the skills that clients are seeking, in the 21st century. What do clients expect from lawyers. And so if we’ve got it right, with these three areas, then it should be a very easy sell. The initial idea behind the three areas was they’re hiring a legal professional, so they better know the law there since the Great Recession, and they’re asking for us to do things faster, cheaper, better, and where process improvement project management, data analytics, technology is going to help that lawyers had better have an awareness, the right side. And if we are focused on a client centered model, then the personal effectiveness becomes paramount. Hopefully, it’s a pretty easy sell the hard sell is changing hiring practices to be based on the Delta model competencies, and not law school rankings and grades and Law Review. And, and then to change legal education. So that we are this goes back to like the earlier question for we’re valuing a more holistic understanding of the skill set necessary to succeed. I think we’re seeing examples of that happening. And law firms do want to embrace this and organizations that do want to embrace this, but we’re hoping that this actually becomes an easy sell for clients.

Greg Lambert  37:16

Well, a lot of law firms really stressed their culture. And if I think that if if they look at it, as a way of finding the potential candidates that best fit the culture of the firm, I think that’s, that’s going to be one way of selling it. So I do want to finish up with a question, I want to get back to the Delta model itself as a concept. And so we talked about the Delta model is a triangle with three sides, but it’s really more of a three dimensional shape, sort of like a pyramid, you know, the coolest thing about this is that it’s not a static shape, that the top of the pyramid shifts, you know, based on the current situation facing the Delta shade lawyer skills, can you give us some examples of you know, where it’s necessary for the individual lawyer to push that center point to one or two sides in and again, where you’re maybe less focused on the law, and you’re more focused on the technology and the interpersonal or the any of the other two combinations?

Marlene Gebauer  38:25

Sure. So

Alyson Carrel  38:26

um, yeah, so the Delta model, if you imagine placing a midpoint in the center of the triangle, and then being able to drag that midpoint around, you can change the surface area that is associated with with each of the three sides of the triangle to reflect the differing degrees and depth of skill that someone needs to have, depending on their position. So examples, one might be as a traditional first year associate this can this was a quote from some of our recent research through Thomson Reuters, some law firms, they just they want to hire the stellar brief writer, and they’re not going to have a lot of client interaction. And they’re not going to be doing a lot of innovation with a knowledge management team, or the knowledge management team is so robust that the individual first year associate doesn’t have to have the breadth of skill there. So we just take the midpoint of the of the Delta and drag it so that the surface area related to the business and operation side or the personal effectiveness becomes smaller, and the surface area related to the law becomes that much bigger, versus somebody who might be going into legal operations might be a legal solutions architect, where their first priority isn’t necessarily providing legal advice, but they absolutely need to understand the law in order to come up with a legal solution. Innovative legal solution, but they need to have a lot more skills in this data analytics technology process improvement side. And so we just move the center of the of the triangle to reflect a larger area related to that to the side of business and operations, I’ll just say that the shifting midpoint of the Delta allows it to reflect these different positions because the corresponding surface area can become smaller or larger. And so it can visualize the different skills that people are going to need. And it’s, it’s not finite, right? So we’re talking about a first year associate today, and the legal Solutions Architect a position that’s still relatively new, there’s going to be new positions that are started in 10 years that develop from some other new innovation, the Delta model can shift to reflect that. So we think this model is not only static, based on an individual’s position, but it’s not static in this moment of time. cat has also been looking at it from a point of view, not just at the individual but of teams. I don’t know, cat, if you want to just talk a little bit about the dynamic aspect related to teams.

Cat Moon  41:17

Yes. So I think one of the greatest values of creating a visual model is that it really is making much more concrete and known and understood what different legal roles require. And so, you know, entering the legal profession has often been a black box for our students. And so not really sure what it means to go into the practice of law and pursue a specific path in terms of exactly what competencies are required. If you go to law school, a traditional law school experience, do you think, Oh, I just need to think like a lawyer? Because that’s primarily what we we train folks to do. So we’re hoping, in part that we that the visual aspect, and the nuance, and the detail that the model reveals gives people a much better understanding of what it means to pursue a specific path, you know, some folks who are pursuing a path that I would call very, like a technical legal operator, so a brief writer, if this person actually needs a lot of interpersonal interaction, they may find that that work is actually very lonely. And so part of it is understanding your own self, and being able to figure out is that path really going to be a good path for me, in bringing that around to the concept of the teams, you know, my observation is that the nature of legal work is moving more and more into a very intentionally collaborative space. And it needs to frankly, there’s a whole body of research that supports why we should be working much more collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams. And so understanding where you fit where your role fits, and also having self-awareness of your own strengths, and what you contribute, when it comes to a team dynamic is really critical in creating an effective team, and a team where the team members thrive. And so you can map a group of people on the Delta really to see what individuals are bringing in order to design a team that’s going to be highly functional. And again, it just goes back to my initial point that one of the primary superpowers of the Delta model is that we make it really easy to reveal and understand what those different competencies are on the individual and the team level, and gives everyone a point of reference that takes it out of the black box. And, you know, makes it very concrete in visual. So hopefully, that value will prove to have Pac practical application and we’re working again on some pilots and some case studies so that we can show that

Greg Lambert  44:03

I like that the superpower of the Delta models. And now when students graduate and they’ve gone through this, we’ll just add a cape on to their gowns.

Marlene Gebauer  44:14

No capes. How about Yeah, how

Unknown Speaker  44:18

about a crowd?

Marlene Gebauer  44:20

Crown  it’s better to round is better

Greg Lambert  44:22

Get a crown get a crown. Well, Alison Carroll of Northwestern law school and cap moon from Vanderbilt law. I want to thank you both for taking this time to talk with us today. This has been fantastic having you on to talk about this.

Marlene Gebauer  44:36

Yeah, have really enjoyed this really looking forward to hearing new developments in this area.

Alyson Carrel  44:41

Thank you both so much for having us.

Cat Moon  44:43

Yeah, thank you. It’s always a blast to talk with you guys. Thanks so much.

Greg Lambert  44:49

Thanks again to Alison Carolyn and Cat Moon for letting us rebroadcasts her Delta lawyer competency discussion. And of course, thanks to Jerry David to Sikka for the great music. Again. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks. With some new shows