Posted in Law Firm Client Service, Law Firms, Legal Marketing

Law Firms: The Future is NOW

iStock_000011353685_LargeThe “law firm of the future.”

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about this in recent months, not because I find it to be interesting (which I do), but because other than my “Instagram for Lawyers” post, this has been the hottest topic on Zen this year. I had a conversation with a senior partner at a law firm last week, who asked me “How do we communicate to people that the future is NOW?” His firm has been embracing these “futuristic” policies for a number of years, and recognizes that change in the industry is not happening fast enough.

In May, Altman Weil published the 8th edition of their “Law Firms in Transition” survey, which polls the managing partners and chairs at 800 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers (this year’s survey received 356 respondents from 49% of the 350 largest US law firms). If you haven’t already read at least the executive summary for this survey, I highly encourage you to take a look through it. In the midst of the second quarter of this year, Altman Weil said:

Are law firms still in transition in 2016? We think so, although the pace of change can seem modest. Despite pockets of true innovation, most firms are choosing to proceed with lawyerly caution in the midst of a market that is being reinvented around them.”

Yikes.

A bunch of a hoopla about nothing? We’ll get to that in a minute.  Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of November 28, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupWe’re in the home stretch for the year now – December is upon us! So, have you hit all of your goals for 2016? Although it’s a hugely busy time of year for many of us in terms of wrapping things up, and planning for next year, take some time to review your plan for the year and see if there’s anything that you can still implement over the next few weeks or at least add into your 2017 planning and goals. You might be pleasantly surprised to realize that you’ve got time for one more article, or your holiday networking plans will provide the opportunity for another contact or two. And taking a review of this year’s activities as you’re planning for 2017 will help to give you a realistic sense of what you can accomplish in the new year.

But first, take a look through these top posts from ILNToday, where some of our members have surely been hitting their content goals for 2016!

Posted in Legal Marketing

Holiday Networking is Coming.

cqatth9oyuw-liz-bridgesThe end of this week marks the beginning of December, and we all know what that means…

Holiday party invitations are coming. 

For introverts like me, holiday parties are probably not high on your list of exciting December “to dos” – it’s not that we don’t love them; it’s just that they’re rather exhausting. Extroverts may see them as a chance to enjoy a bit of relaxation with friends and meet new people. But no matter how you view holiday parties, they are definitely a key opportunity to network.

Whether you’re a networking pro or feel like there’s room for improvement, every networking experience is a chance to hone your skills. Recently, we held our Regional Conference of the Americas, and invited David Ackert, President of The Ackert Advisory, to facilitate a type of speed-dating session that we refer to as our “referral rendezvous.” We matched our lawyers in groups of 3-4 people, and they had 25 minutes to talk and connect with each other – some of them have known each other for many years, while others were meeting each other for the first time.

David’s networking tools offered a road map to maximize the time invested in each conversation. These tips are valuable not just for speed dating purposes, but across all networking opportunities, so I am sharing them with you today as we head into a whirlwind season of relationship-building possibilities.  Continue Reading

Posted in Law Firms, Two for Tuesdays

Law Firm of the Future: Are You Ready?

photo-1468645547353-56d325bb57ffWe’ve spent several weeks addressing the potential characteristics that the lawyers and law firms of the future will require in order to be successful. Today, we look at the last two contributors to High Q’s book on Smart Law and the Law Firm of the Future, but I invite all of you to continue to consider these issues and discuss them – particularly give some thought to whether the contributors missed anything you see as essential to law firms in the future and where you see our profession headed.

And what’s next? We’ve been looking at sort of where we’ll be in five or ten years, but not what the incremental steps will be to get there. So what is the first thing that firms and lawyers need to be doing in order to prepare themselves to be an effective law firm of the future? Is it embracing new technologies? Is it a shift in mindset at the leadership levels of the firm (or is that already happening)? Is it bringing in strong teams of professionals, not just lawyers? Are all of those things already taking place to some extent at many firms, and we just need to accelerate them?

What’s next? Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of November 14, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupWe’re here in the Big Easy today, for the first full day of our 2016 Regional Conference of the Americas! So while ILN members are enjoying each others’ company and networking like champions, please take a look at this week’s top posts from ILNToday:

Posted in Firm of the Month

ILN Firm of the Month – Reinhart Marville Torre, France!

FirmoftheMonth1

November/December 2016

The ILN is proud to announce our latest firm of the month, Reinhart Marville Torre, France!
Established in 1990, Reinhart Marville Torre is a full-service business law firm whose 19 partners provide litigation and legal advisory services to companies and business leaders in order to assist and advise them on their legal affairs and litigation strategies.

Reinhart Marville Torre has been ranked as a leading firm by specialized press in France and abroad. These rankings reflect the success of the firm’s structure, its long-term client relationships and its core objective of providing consistently innovative and tailored legal solutions. Chambers Europe and Legal 500 recognize the firm’s excellence in ten distinct practice areas. Eight of the firm’s partners are peer-recommended in Best Lawyers International.

Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of November 7, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupWe are excited to be announcing our newest ILN member today – Salaberren y López Sansón (SyLS) in Buenos Aires, Argentina! The firm is a leading legal and tax boutique in Argentina, whose partners are recognized as industry leaders. You can read more about them in our press release about the membership announcement, and help to welcome them to ILN membership.

Posted in Law Firms, Two for Tuesdays

Law Firm of the Future: Deeper Discussions Sought Here

photo-1470093309323-be5043d91fa6 (1)Last week, we considered the idea that maybe the law firm of the future was going to have to start from scratch in order to really generate change that matters. On LinkedIn, one commenter saw this as an opportunity for smaller firms to grab marketshare from BigLaw, as they are able to be more nimble and agile in a changing market, while one of the ILN’s members wondered how mid-sized firms, particularly in emerging markets, are able to properly prioritize the changes that clients want and need.

I tend to agree that where some may see change as a challenge, it does present a huge opportunity, especially for some smaller and mid-sized firms, but it not only requires us to ask some tough questions and take a critical internal look, it also means that we need to work collaboratively. When we work together – not just within our firms and organizations, but within the industry – we’re able to better identify both the questions and challenges AND the answers and solutions to these issues. We’ve talked before about how the law firm of the future will embrace a more collaborative approach, but I see the industry overall as taking on a more collaborative tone – without giving away any trade secrets, we can all work together to make the industry stronger and more client-centric.  Continue Reading

Posted in Roundups

Week of October 31, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupWe’re welcoming a new face to the roundup this week, with a contribution from our Maltese firm on Brexit! Before you head out into the first November weekend, take a look through this week’s roundup of top posts from ILNToday:

Posted in Law Firms, Two for Tuesdays

Law Firm of the Future: Get Ready to Change

photo-1477414348463-c0eb7f1359b6Up until this point, as we’ve looked at the “law firm of the future,” we’ve mostly focused on the idea that we can take what we’ve been doing and adapt or tweak it in some way, so that we can continue on our paths and just improve ourselves. We’ve talked about embracing technology, making things better, using all of our people instead of just lawyers to be innovative and remain curious. And of course, none of these things are wrong. But are they too comfortable?

Are we just putting duct tape over a hole in our tire, instead of taking the tire off and putting on a new one?

What if truly being a law firm of the future means throwing out everything we know, and starting at the beginning?

  • Looking at the client’s point of view, and finding out what really works for them and never considering how we’ve always done things – in terms of processes, billing, staffing, etc.
  • Running our firms as businesses and not as partnerships.
  • Fully embracing technology as an integral part of our team, and how it can drive that business, instead of a necessary evil?

These are the challenges given to us by the two contributing authors that we’re examining from HighQ’s book on Smart Law and the future of the law firm today.

I’m as guilty as the next person of wanting to change the least amount possible to achieve the maximum gains – that way, I can stay pretty comfortable while still pleasing the people that matter.

But what if we didn’t do that? What if we were brave and effected real change?  Continue Reading

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