I first discussed the idea of T-Shaped Lawyers at the ReInvent Law NYC 2014 Conference (video) and fleshed out the idea in an article in the ABA Law Practice Magazine "Big Ideas Issue," July/Aug 2014. The concept has become a popular way to discuss skill development for lawyers in the 21st century.

A T-shaped lawyer has deep legal expertise (long vertical bar of the T) but also has enough knowledge of and appreciation for other disciplines (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. Changes in the legal market, lawyer ethics, and new jobs for lawyers demonstrate the need and demand for T-shaped lawyers in this century.

The T-Shaped Lawyer discussion continues:

 A research group has also built on the T-Shaped Lawyer model to suggest a “Delta Model” for lawyer competency, which adds “personal effectiveness” (soft skills like emotional intelligence) as a key area of competency.