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LawNext is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, who is internationally known for his writing and speaking on legal technology and innovation. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry. From legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice, Bob and his guests explore the future of law and legal practice.

Mar 13, 2023

Two years after D. Gordon Smith was appointed dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 2016, he told an audience of law school advisors, “I want BYU to be known as, if not the most innovative law school in the country, then one of the most innovative law schools in the country.” Now, Smith has announced he is stepping down as dean at the end of this semester, after having been the second-longest serving dean in the school’s history. 

So how did he do in pursuit of that goal? During his tenure, he drove a number of innovations around innovation and technology, including the launch of LawX, a legal design lab committed to tackling access-to-justice issues with solutions that address pressing legal problems such as debt collection, eviction and asylum. He also served on two Utah Supreme Court task forces that led to the creation of the Utah Sandbox. 

Also during his tenure as dean, he more than tripled the amount of scholarships available to students, saw the law school’s ranking rise from 46th to 23rd, pioneered a law and corpus linguistics program, and launched a global leadership program. 

Recently, LawNext host Bob Ambrogi was at the school’s Provo, Utah, campus, and sat down with Smith in his office to reflect on his nearly seven years as dean. 


Thank You To Our Sponsors

This episode of LawNext is generously made possible by our sponsors. We appreciate their support and hope you will check them out. 

  • Paradigm, home to the practice management platforms PracticePanther, Bill4Time, MerusCase and LollyLaw; the e-payments platform Headnote; and the legal accounting software TrustBooks.

  • Lawmatics, providing legal client intake, law practice CRM, marketing automation, legal billing, document management, and much more, all in one easy-to-use law practice software.

  • Legalweek, the one week where thousands of legal professionals gather to network with their peers, dive deeper into their professional development, and gain the tools to get legal business done, presented by ALM and March 20-23, 2023.


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