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.
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”?
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?
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
The last eighteen months have been…a lot.
I know that’s a clear understatement and particularly for those who have truly suffered through the loss of family members, friends, jobs, their way of life – the heartbreak is incalculable. But each of us has been changed in ways we haven’t yet come to terms with. …
Continue Reading Slip-Sliding Away…from Change
“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