Future of the 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?”

Was it?
Continue Reading Motivating Change in a Post-COVID World

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?

Last week, we talked about the temptation to slide back into old habits as the world starts to open back up from quarantine. Things have changed, and they’ve changed dramatically, so there can be that desire to seek the familiar ways of doing things – but we really don’t have to. And with these Delta variants taking a firm hold on us, it will be more important than ever to be and stay flexible. I know that’s not something the legal industry is historically comfortable with, but we showed during the pandemic that we’re actually quite good at it. And that flexibility can be profitable for our firms (even if it’s a bit hard on our psyches). So what we DO need is both better mental health care within the legal industry (and self-care and boundaries) right along with continued moves towards a different way of being and thinking.
Continue Reading Breaking Down the Barriers to Change in a Post (During?) COVID World

“Innovation” is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot these days, right up there with “disruption.” It sounds like something that’s foreign in the legal industry, but it shouldn’t be. Believe it or not, we, too, can be innovative.

We’ve all gotten excited because the pandemic has made us believe that we can now be innovative – firms that were previously stuck were forced to become fully remote in a matter of days or weeks. Most court systems are now paperless. We’re e-signing documents and discussing hybrid working. What else is on the horizon?!?

<<Insert screeching stop noise here>>
Continue Reading It’s Past Time to Innovate for Radical Success

Almost ten years ago, I attended a general counsel panel about achieving greater collaboration and the clients who participated shared their top takeaways for lawyers and law firms. I’m not sure whether it speaks to the constancy of the legal profession that this advice holds true for today, or we are just still not getting it, but while there are definitely some sophisticated clients needs in the market today, the basics remain the same:
Continue Reading Lawyers – What do Your Clients Want? Hint: It Hasn’t Changed

One of my favorite topics to discuss is the idea of collaboration. It’s been much more popular over the last few years, but as we get deeper into the pandemic, the isolation is driving up the risk of returning those of us in the legal industry to silos (if some of us ever really left). I know that there’s been a lot of upheaval this year, and reverting to the way things “were” may sound attractive, in the same way that the phrase “but this is the way we’ve always done it!” can be. But I promise you that more than ever, insisting on moving forward with collaboration in the legal industry, both across silos and across functions within the profession, is essential for us to be successful.

Before we get into the “how” of collaboration in 2020, if you’d like to understand “why” you should bother to collaborate, head over to “The Case for Collaboration in Law Firm Networks: the Value Proposition for Your Clients.
Continue Reading Collaboration in 2020: What Does that Look Like?

These are the words from David Ackert of The Ackert Advisory during a webinar that he gave for our ILN membership yesterday, and oh boy do those hit home.

I can say that as an organization, we’re not just “hunkering down” when it comes to our strategy for 2020, but is that something that sounds familiar to you for your firm or practice? When COVID hit, was there an immediate flurry of “batten down the hatches!” and everyone just hold on for dear life?
Continue Reading “Hunker down” is not a growth strategy; it’s a survival strategy

Four years ago, we joined with HighQ in looking at the question, “What do you believe lawyers and law firms need to do to prepare for the future of legal services?”

Considering how much has happened even in the past six months, and looking at the way the legal industry adapted to being fully remote in many countries in 1-2 weeks, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look back at what some of the leading experts in the industry had to say in 2016, and put that into today’s context.

In reading what many of us thought in 2016, the overriding sense is less that firms have been preparing for change and more that COVID has forced firms to have to be innovative and creative because they have no other choice. The old adage that when something is painful enough, THEN we will make changes, is just as true for law firms as it is for each of us.

But is change a challenge…or an opportunity?
Continue Reading Law Firms: Change as a Challenge, or an Opportunity?

In our third episode of the Law Firm ILN-telligence Podcast, we welcomed Attilio Ferrari, a partner with FPB Legal in Milan, Italy and a member of the International Lawyers Network. In this episode, Attilio and I discussed emphasizing being a trusted partner over business development, the importance of communication, and how no one is