As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been following along as attendees of Georgetown’s Law Firm Evolution Symposium have been tweeting the conference highlights.  Rachel M. Zahorsky of the ABA Journal was in attendance, and wrote a great article that summed up a theme of the conference – BigLaw must change or die.  She quotes several speakers, who make ominous statements:

– Patricia Gillette, Orrick partner: “It is a mistake to think of change in terms of silos…Change must be sweeping. If you do not change, you will die.”

– Susan Hackett, Association of Corporate Counsel vice president & general counsel: “The window is open for another year to year and a half for firms before clients start walking and looking at firms they’ve never looked at before…Whenever a firm says [it] can’t hold to a budget number because of unpredictability, the GC still has a busted budget. It’s not unpredictable. It’s unforgivable that they don’t know and unforgivable that we haven’t held them to that.”

– Robert Ruyak, managing partner and CEO of Howrey: “Partners must be willing to sacrifice some short-term profitability for greater success and profit in the long-term.  That’s something many partners don’t want to do, but we have to.  There is no choice because some firms will, and they’re the ones that will be eating our lunches tomorrow.” 

But some are saying that there are firms that think that the legal industry will soon be back to the way it was, and so they don’t have to worry about changing. 

Mid-sized law firms, like those in the ILN, often find it easier to adapt than BigLaw because their size makes them more nimble.  But even though this is the case, clients are asking all of their firms to more strongly consider their needs, focus on strengthening their relationships.  As was said at the LMA Conference this year, clients have always had the power, but now they know it.

So what are your firms doing to adapt to the siren call of change?  How are you providing your clients with better service, more value, strengthened relationships?  And how are legal marketers supporting their attorneys to make these changes possible? 

Or, on the flip side, are you one of those who believes that the legal industry will rebound, and so there isn’t any need for change?

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.