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Will Law Firms of the Future Have Legal Secretaries?

I initially called this post The Evolving Role of Legal Secretaries. Then I realized that “evolve” suggests a continuous process but what we see today seems a discontinuity, an abrupt change.  I am not sure though, that  large law firms understand just how profound the cha

Can We See Scale and Experience Benefits in Law Practice?

Reading the business press, I am struck by how scale and experience can change the fate of companies and industries.  Would that we could say the same for law firms. Hardware Is Dead. Software Is Dead in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal points out that “Scale matters more t

Can We Do Less Law? (ILTA Presentation)

At the International Legal Technology Association 2013 meeting in Las Vegas today, I gave a short presentation asking if we can “Do Less Law”. I was one of several panelists the IT Catalyst. Below is the outline of my speech, with links to sources I cited. INTRO OPENING I

Has the ABA Started Down a Slippery Deregulatory Slope?

The ABA, which accredits law schools, is considering proposals that would allow reducing the number of tenured faculty members. What implications might this have for legal regulation more generally? The Wall Street Journal article reporting on this development, Law-School Professors F

Law Departments Have Growing Choices – Should Law Firms Worry (More on Axiom Law and Other Alternatives)

Recent commentary suggests that large law firms have 10 to 15% too much capacity. If so, we can expect to see further BigLaw shrinkage. In contrast, alternative legal providers continue to grow and offer innovative services. What can we learn from these alternatives? Last week, Lee Pa

ACC 2013 Value Champions Suggest Bright Future for Law Firm Alternatives

The ACC recently announced its Value Champions winners of its 2013 Value Challenge in its article More Corporate Law Departments Turn to Legal Support Services to Reduce Excessive Fees. Winners have several common elements: Move more work inhouse Reduce the number of outside law firms

Contradictory BigLaw Trends – The Mixed News of the Day

Normally I don’t just dash off a blog post and list articles. The news today, however, calls some quick links and comments.  The New York Times Dealbook reported this morning Big Law Firm to Cut Lawyers and Some Partner Pay. Weil Gotshal is set to cut 60 associates, 110 sta

Closing the Gaps in BigLaw Performance – Can We Do It?

From the macro to the micro, from strategic direction to execution details, law firms face challenges. Several news items and blog posts last week take us through these pressing legal market questions.  The Strategic Overview. Bruce McEwen in A law firm taxonomy: Introduction (21

What Lawyers and Media Moguls Have in Common

Two New York Times articles on Monday make me think that lawyers have more in common with media moguls than I thought.   Solving Equation of a Hit Film Script, With Data explains that “The same kind of numbers analysis that has reshaped areas like politics and online market

Lawyer Productivity in Alternative Fee Arrangement (AFA) World

One reason that clients of large law firms want alternative fee arrangements (AFA) is to drive efficiency. The right AFA structure motivates firms to maximize productivity. In AFA World, what does productivity mean and can firms improve it? In Billable Hour World, “productivity&