Change can be intimidating.
Whether you find it exciting or not, even those of us who are the most adept at it can find it daunting and exhausting. In the legal industry, where change is historically slow, when it happens at all, it can be even more overwhelming. We’ve been talking an awful lot about it lately, and in light of what was revealed in the recent Altman Weil study, that there seems to be some “change fatigue” brought about by the challenges of shifting the thinking in your firm, it makes sense to start any discussion about change by talking about the people.
Mark Beese, President of Leadership for Lawyers LLC, recently shared some critical leadership skills, focusing on three styles for change, and how to persuade each of the groups that comprise these styles. His ideas help to set the stage for how each of us can help work within our own firms and organizations to help face the current trends head on. Continue Reading
Continuing our discussion about SmartLaw and the future of the legal industry, which hopefully we can all say with some degree of comfort is here NOW, let’s consider another major theme of HighQ’s recent eBook – the intersection of technology and people. This idea is one that we touched on during our last series on the future of law, and it will continue to be a hot topic. As we seem to be in the midst of an almost technological revolution, with exciting new advances happening daily, it can seem very real that maybe robots will replace lawyers.
But many of the contributing authors (and I would wholeheartedly agree with them) take an alternative view – while technology will become increasingly important in the practice of law, it will not replace lawyers. Nor will lawyers have to be programmers any time soon – though my decision to major in computer science is looking more and more fortuitous as time goes on. Will many jobs and roles change? Of course, but that was the case with the advent of the telephone and email, and as those technologies improved too. Telephone operators used to be essential in order to place a call, and now you have a device that you can hold in your hand with which to place a call directly – operators lost their jobs, but other jobs were created as well by expanding technologies.
If we’re embracing the idea that change is afoot, what does that really look like, per the authors in the eBook? What are our opportunities and challenges? Continue Reading
Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Alishan Naqvee of our member firm LexCounsel Law Offices in New Delhi, India.
In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
Broadly based, as we are handling all sorts of corporate and commercial work to litigation and arbitrations.
Who would be your typical client?
An Indo-foreign joint venture or its partners, Indian businesses and of course some very exciting technology start-ups with innovative solutions for various sectors of the economy. Continue Reading
In today’s Rainmaking Recommendation from expert and trainer, Jaimie Field, she’s discussing one of my favorite things – working with your clients to find out what they really want.
With all due respect to the Spice Girls (don’t tell anyone, but I know all of the lyrics to their most famous songs), the title of this post is actually referring to the fact that in order to become a Rainmaker, you need to know what your clients want.
And there is only one way to do this – ask them. Continue Reading
We’ve been discussing the NEED for change a lot lately, and while many of us may understand the urgency, and have even begun undertaking some steps to effectuate change within our firms and organizations, others may be asking what it actually means to be a leader of change.
Fortunately, there are some great resources out there to help guide you through the process. One of these is John P. Kotter’s book, Leading Change, which I was challenged to read a few years ago as part of a leadership conference I participated in. While the book itself was a bit unpalatable – I felt that Kotter could have said more with less, and that his Harvard degree gave him too much license for arrogance – there are some solid suggestions for leading change that can get you started. Let’s distill the more salient points of the book here, and if you’d like to read it in full, I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book for further examples and depth. Continue Reading
This is just a guess, but I suspect that most of us didn’t get into the legal industry because we love data, right?
If we loved data, we’d be elsewhere.
But…bad news. Data is one of those things that we have to start embracing as the industry changes in order to stay relevant. It sounds terrible and cumbersome, but truthfully, once you invest the time to put processes in place to collect and mine your data, the return you’ll get is huge. You’ll see where you can be more efficient, create more value for clients, and identify ways for the firm to be more profitable. More value AND more profit? Data doesn’t sound so bad after all, does it? Continue Reading
Altman Weil recently released their “Law Firms in Transition” survey, which is now in its tenth year. The survey, which includes responses from half of US law firms with 50 or more lawyers, was initially developed as a response to the 2008 recession, to help firms understand how other firms were reacting to the marketplace and the challenges being presented. As its authors state, “We sought to provide clear, credible information that would facilitate law firm planning and operational decision making.” After a decade of change, the survey emphasizes three important concepts, which dovetail nicely with our recent discussions on the law firm of the future, and particularly the idea that the future is happening NOW. Continue Reading
We’ve had a lot of discussion over the past several years about what the future of legal services will look like, and what critical characteristics and ideas will be necessary for lawyers and law firms to embrace in order to operate within it successfully. Last week, we opened the conversation again with the release of HighQ’s updated eBook on SmartLaw addressing these concepts, and as we did with the first eBook, I’d like to delve a little further into what some of the other authors had to say.
Let’s kick this off with two of my favorites – Jordan Furlong and D. Casey Flaherty, who had essentially the same core message: the future is now. You may remember that this isn’t the first time we’ve addressed this concept here on Zen either – looking back to 2016 and the Altman Weil CLO study, this was already a call to action. Flaherty and Furlong are continuing to beat the drum on this too, and each has an important message for firms and their lawyers. Continue Reading