12 November 2020

CHAPTER 1 – THE KUJI HANDBOOK

Yesterday I posted a short article on how Remembrance Day has impacted me over the years. 

I didn’t broadcast it at the time, but I also released my second book, The KUJI Handbook, yesterday. I did this to remind myself that not only have I relied on the help of many people to realise this decade-long project, but equally I could not have undertaken it without the freedoms bestowed on me by those who gave their lives for others.

And in keeping with this spirit of giving, each week for the next several months I will be posting here a chapter from The KUJI Handbook, beginning today with Chapter 1.

You can also purchase The KUJI Handbook on Amazon, where we’ve included a lower-priced Student Edition in addition to the standard Kindle and paperback versions.

For more information about the Handbook, and the ways in which we are transforming how law firms and clients work together, see the description at the end of this article. 

Let’s begin.

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CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION

This handbook sits at the intersection of cognitive science and the practice of law. It introduces concepts that have never before been considered within the legal profession. It will help you make better decisions when dealing with lawyers, whether you’re a General Counsel looking for the right outside legal experts or a law-firm Managing Partner needing to maximise the value of your legal talent.

In the following chapters you’ll discover how anyone can now objectively assess the expertise of their legal advisors, using a simple system of rating numbers. You’ll also learn about the many ways in which these ratings data enable clients to get more for their legal budgets, ensure that individual lawyers receive the support they need for successful careers, and make law firms more effective competitors in the trillion-dollar, global market for legal services.

 Part A – Overview (Chapters 2 to 5)

Part A of this handbook offers an overview of the fundamental questions concerning what it means to think like a legal expert, and why it’s important to be able to identify – and quantify – different levels of legal experts. It also recounts the origin story and series of events that led to the development of the world’s first science-based rating system for lawyers: The KUJI Rating Scale.

Part B – KUJI Ratings (Chapters 6 to 8)

Part B focuses on the mechanics of the KUJI Rating Scale and how the expertise of individual legal specialists is measured. The chapters in this part are particularly important for law firms and clients who want to know about the underlying science and procedural steps in getting their lawyers rated.

Part C – What “KUJI” Means (Chapters 9 to 14)

Part C unpacks the four dimensions of expertise that are central to the KUJI Rating System. This includes an introduction to the higher-level concepts and influences that shape the expertise assessment process. There are also explanations as to what makes someone a true expert in their field with reference to the KUJI framework of Knowledge, Understanding, Judgment and Intuition.

Part D – KUJI Bands (Chapters 15 to 20)

Part D explains the general cognitive profiles of lawyers within each of the 6 KUJI Bands. This part explores the defining traits and cognitive profiles of Novice, Developing, Competent, Proficient, Expert and Master lawyers. This is critical information for lawyers wanting to track their progress as experts, as well as for law firm managers and clients needing to match the right lawyers to specific tasks and levels of responsibility.

Part E – Case Studies (Chapters 21 to 25)

Part E provides four case studies in which the ratings and metrics of the KUJI Rating Scale have been applied. These case studies demonstrate the benefits of knowing precisely how expert your lawyers really are. These include: More efficient lawyer pricing models; substantial cost-savings for clients; better diversity and inclusion outcomes for law firms; a deeper understanding of the disconnect between lawyers’ expertise and their formal position titles; and, unprecedented benchmarking opportunities across a wide range of legal service providers.

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ABOUT

The KUJI Handbook is an essential primer for law firm leaders and clients who rely on legal experts. It covers all the core concepts underlying KUJI Ratings and the KUJI Rating Scale, including: The science behind this new standard for measuring legal expertise; what “KUJI” actually means; the practicalities of assessing the expertise of individual lawyers; the cognitive significance of being located within a specific KUJI Band; and, case studies that show how quantifying the expertise of lawyers can lead to more efficient lawyer pricing, measurable improvements in lawyer diversity, a better understanding of position titles in law firms, and invaluable benchmarking data across a wide range of legal service providers.

Peter Macmillan is one of the world’s leading authorities on the cognitive development of professional expertise. A former lawyer, he is Founder and CEO of Meisterline Analytics, creator of the KUJI® Rating System, and author of The KUJI Handbook and Unlocking the Secrets of Legal Genius: Measuring Specialist Legal Expertise Through Think-Aloud Verbal Protocol Analysis. Peter began his legal career as a Competition Law specialist in 1992. He went on to work for major corporate law firms and government authorities in both Australia and Hong Kong. In 2006, Peter resigned as Head of Competition Law at an international law firm and went on to complete a PhD in law and cognitive science. Then with the help of researchers, coding engineers and an ex-NASA scientist, he established the Meisterline Analytics Research Lab, which in 2016 launched the world’s first science-based rating system for independently and objectively measuring the expertise of lawyers.

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