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Law Firm Ownership: An Evidence-Based Approach

Adam Smith, Esq. asks “Is the prohibition against non-lawyers having an ownership interest in a law firm still a good idea?” (See Question of the Month #4: Non-lawyer Ownership?, 1 Sep 2017). Readers can vote on a list of answers or comment. I defer my vote to reframe the

Will All Lawyers Work for the Big 4 by 2026?

In September, as a panelist at the College of Law Practice Management 2016 Futures Conference (PDF of agenda), I addressed the question “Will All Lawyers Work for the Big 4 by 2026?”. (The conference used the term mega accountants but it’s hard to imagine in 10 years

Automating Legal Advice: AI and Expert Systems

In 2015, we regularly read about automating legal advice with artificial intelligence (AI), especially with IBM Watson. In my view, the AI smoke – at least as described in many reports – exceeds the fire. In fact, I cannot name a single large law firm that has deployed a W

Are Lawyers Getting Dumber? Bloomberg Asks

It’s rare that the legal market makes the cover of Business Week. The current print issue (24-30 August 2015) cover story asks “Are Lawyers Getting Dumber?” The article describes the dust-up between lesser-ranked law schools and the National Conference of Bar Examine

The Bar Dithers, Rich Firms Get Richer, and NewLaw Grows

Each Friday, I publish Tweets of the Week. I pick them individually, not considering how they fit together. My picks today (below) tell a nice story, one that needs more than 140 characters… Toby Brown wrote this week in The Profession is Doomed that the bar is so hidebound (my

Meet Your New Lawyer, IBM Watson

Will IBM Watson be your new lawyer? Perhaps someday. For now, I tackle an easier question: what role can Watson play in Big Law? I speculate here so welcome comments and corrections. Last week at the International Legal Technology Association annual conference  an IBM Watson senior ma

Does Citing Professionalism Protect Bad Lawyer Habits?

The legal press and blogs lit up this week when Dentons decided not to report profits per equity partner to the American Lawyer.  The PEP discussion I leave to others. I found more interesting a reason Dentons gives: “a focus on profit undermines the differences between the prac

Shifts in the Legal Market Summed Up in 4 Tweets

My post last week, State of the US Legal Market Summed Up in 3 Tweets, showed large law firms responding to flat demand by merging and cutting costs. Like last week, my current Tweets of the Week again happen to tell a story. They offer a look at another aspect of the legal market, th

Rule against Outside Investment in Law Firms Stifles Innovation

The time has come to re-consider rules barring outside investment in law firms.  I start with a specific example of where outside investment could benefit the profession and society and discuss a potentially better way to think about the question more generally. I recently corresponde

The Future of Law: Who Will Perform and Regulate It? (Live Post from COLPM)

I am at the College of Law Practice Management Futures Conference in Chicago.  Stephen Mayson, Director and Professor of Strategy, Legal Services Institute, London, is the keynote presenter.  His topic: The Future of Law: Who Will Perform It?  Who Will Regulate It?  (This is a live po