All right kids – I had an interesting chat this morning with one of my lawyers about the thing he’s most curious about in his practice. More and more, the answer to that question when I ask it has become “artificial intelligence” and “ChatGPT.” I have some additional thoughts on the subject (including the idea that his wife, as a teacher, said that homework is becoming irrelevant because she’s tired of reading the same ChatGPT-submitted answers over and over), but I wanted to try a little exercise for today’s post.
Pierre Hurt is the managing partner of Lutgen & Associés, a firm focused on litigation support and legal counseling, and a member of the International Lawyers Network. In this episode, we welcome Pierre back to talk about the challenges of managing a firm and maintaining IT security, understanding that the law comes last when working with clients, and more challenges of running a modern law firm.
You can listen to the podcast here, or we’ve provided a transcript of the highlights below.……
When speaking with one of my lawyers last week, this was a question that he posed to me – it was not one he had an answer to and he suspects that it may not be possible. At least not in the way that law firms are used to. He said,
It’s not possible anymore, in my opinion, to have those vertical organizations where you have orders coming from the top and where everybody is treated the same way. Because people, if they are in different situations, you cannot treat them the same way if you want to be fair. So you must adapt.
So, how CAN one have a law firm in modern society?
When I wrote my first blog post on February 26, 2009, I could hardly have imagined where we’d be 14 years later. It would be fun to try to predict, and maybe I’d have gotten some of it right, but I try not to guess at the future.
One of the things I suspect we’d all have gotten right in some form is ChatGPT. I have been loathe to try it for many reasons – I’m not a technophobe, as you can all imagine, nor am I someone who advocates for lawyers to run and try the next big thing. Though, for those of you who have clients who may be using it or dipping their toe in the water, you know I will suggest you get to know it intimately for the usual legal reasons.…
I’m fresh off of a 12-day whirlwind business trip.
I traveled 14,983 miles over 19 flights and 1 bus trip. I visited six countries (while transiting through a total of 11 countries). I didn’t get very much sleep or eat nearly enough. But I certainly accomplished the goals that I set out to when I planned this trip, even if I might not organize six flights for one day the next time around. …
Continue Reading Do we Deserve to Thrive…and not just Survive…at Work?
My title today comes from Luvvie Ajayi Jones, whose new book Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens, comes out today (yes, my copy for my oldest niece arrives today too). Luvvie is one of my favorite authors, speakers, self-professed “troublemakers,” and the reason I’m mentioning her today is that the book I’m currently reading has me all fired up and her words this morning brought me some comfort (more on that shortly).
I’m reading The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard and Daniel Susskind. And if you know me at all and follow this blog, I’m sure you’re wondering how such a book has got me in a lather – truthfully, I agree with almost all of the predictions in the book, which is unfortunately terribly dry and academic (Richard already has me blocked on Twitter for some unknown reason, so this post won’t fix our relationship). I’ve read his other tomes in earnest and enjoyed his previous speeches, but I am trudging my way through this manual from 2015 like I’m wading through oatmeal. …
Continue Reading What Makes You Different is Your Superpower
If you’ve been here a while, you know that I like to look back to find out whether the predictions that we made in the past ever came true – we know that the legal market likes to move slowly, but how slowly? Is the industry that we imagined ten or fifteen years ago where we really are today?
It’s hard to believe that the great recession was 13/14 years ago already, but it’s true. And that means that in the years following the recession, we were all making big promises for change and a “new normal.” (I know, I know, we’re entering yet another “new normal” following the pandemic, which of course only reminds us that the only constant is change.)…
Continue Reading Did We Ever Adjust to that “New Normal”?
Are we STILL talking about change??
Yes, we are. And for two reasons – first, we’re really still in a global pandemic (the CDC is just about to recommend that vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors again if some of us have even stopped) and second, we all know the joke that the only constants are death and taxes, but truthfully, the only constants are death, taxes, and change.
So, here we are.
We’ve tackled a lot about how to address change within your firms, but the one thing we haven’t looked at closely is what to do once you’re deep into it – which may be where firms are if they’re committed to sticking with moving to remote work.
How do we create lasting change in our firms? …
Continue Reading How to Create Lasting Change in Your Law Firm
Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about the tendency to want to slip back into old pre-COVID ways of life and what some of our barriers to change might be (here and here). In fact, Law.com recently posted an article about “As COVID Fears Ease, Remote Work Is Slowly Losing Popularity,” [subscription may be required], in which they said,
The number of law firm leaders, attorneys and staff who expect to work from home frequently dropped significantly between 2020 and 2021, according to the The 2021 National Legal Sector Benchmark Survey Results published by Cushman & Wakefield in conjunction with ALM Intelligence and Law.com.
Roughly 70% of respondents, which include 336 firm leaders, attorneys and staff from various law firms, said that they expect to regularly work remotely when asked in the second quarter of last year. Asked again earlier this year, just half responded the same way.”
I can hear some of you saying, “okay, so what? Why does it really matter if we go back to our pre-COVID way of working? Wasn’t that working for most of us?”
We’re slowly, slowly easing back into a post-COVID world (maybe? Delta variants, anyone?) and with that brings a lot of stress and a lot of change. Potentially.
As we’ve discussed over the past couple of weeks, there may be some temptation to slip back into “the way we’ve always done things,” and while that may feel comfortable and familiar, it’s not a good enough reason to do it. And if you are thinking that you can get away with doing it at your law firm, take heed – recent studies and articles are saying, not so fast: …
Continue Reading What if our Post-COVID Barriers to Change are…People?