By the year 2020 smart machines and legal process outsourcing (LPO) will “radically disrupt” the legal profession.
That was the prediction first put forth by market research firm Gartner, Inc. in a 2014 report called Legal IT Scenario, 2020. The project examined four possible, perhaps even controversial, scenarios affecting the buyers of legal services.
As we look ahead to 2017, we draw ever closer to the once seemingly distant 2020. The […]
By the year 2020 smart machines and legal process outsourcing (LPO) will “radically disrupt” the legal profession.
The promise of lateral hiring is accelerated growth. For that reason, hiring more laterals consistently ranks among the top law firm growth strategies.
A recent study published by Robert Half Legal found that nearly a quarter of lawyers surveyed said their firms “will increase its hiring of partner- or senior-level attorneys in the next two years.” In addition, more than half of the attorneys in the survey believe lateral hiring […]
A decline in your realization rate can sometimes be indicative of larger problems in your firm and, as the ABA Law Practice Magazine notes, time and effort written-off by your firm can have a number of causes. Sometimes “it represents time invested that is not well spent; in other situations, it is time that cannot be justified based on the intrinsic value of the work or the arrangement with […]
Many legal experts now believe that AI will play an increasingly important role in the legal industry both in legal practice and in practice management—and to some extent this is already happening.
With the focus that design-led thinking has on removing personal biases, working more collaboratively, embracing ambiguity, rapid experimentation, and having a bias towards action, organisations are now adopting Design Thinking as a way to allow for more integrated thinking and a more adaptive strategic mindset.
If you’re an equity partner in a law firm, it’s likely that you’re making more money than you were a few years ago, but remain unsatisfied with your firm’s partner compensation system and would welcome changes. Recent surveys of law firm partners show fairly similar patterns in these responses, even if the partner compensations systems are completely different.
Mentoring is a “pay it forward” activity – you don’t want to just mentor people, you want to create future mentors. In this special two-part Aderant Think Tank post, CIO New Zealand Editor Divina Paredes interviews Caroline Jones, Aderant’s Manager of User Experience.
Young lawyers are often advised to “project value” when dealing with clients. More specifically, when interacting with clients either directly or through billing statements, lawyers should make sure that clients understand the purpose of the work conducted and why it’s important. While this message is not new, the importance of defining value in the client relationship has never been greater.
Non-equity partner positions became incredibly popular with firms over the past 20 years, so much so that by 2006 about 80% of the 200 largest U.S. firms employed non-equity partners.
The business ran for decades on the same model, with few coherent strategies for growth, marketing or pricing. Executives were asked to wear many hats in their enterprises, including professional expertise, sales, marketing, human resources and management. Customer demand never […]
Several years ago, an article in the ABA’s Law Practice Today asked us to imagine a global industry managed by “part-time leaders with minimal business training.”
The business ran for decades on the same model, with few coherent strategies for growth, marketing or pricing. Executives were asked to wear many hats in their enterprises, including professional expertise, sales, marketing, human resources and management. Customer demand never wavered and profits continued […]
Nearly every day we hear news of some new, large-scale cyber hack. For instance, the recent OPM database hack compromised personal information for over 21 million past and current federal employees and contractors. This attack, along with those on Target, Home Depot and several large insurance companies, have certainly brought the issue of cybersecurity to the forefront. Opinion polls consistently report the risk of a cyber-attack as one of […]
While firms likely won’t be relying solely on data analytics for their partnership-level hiring decisions any time soon, advancements in business intelligence technology is providing some additional key metrics for this process.
When we think of automation technology affecting industries, we tend to associate it with lower-skill jobs that can adequately be replaced with robotics or software.
Despite its reputation as a slow adopter of change, the legal industry is beginning to implement new technology at an increasing rate. During our recent survey of legal professionals in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, we found that 98 percent of law firms undertook one or more technology initiatives in 2014.
In this challenging market with flat client demand, firms are slowly coming to the realization that greater efficiency and improvement in their internal processes might be the only path to increased revenues.
At larger law firms, pricing professionals—sometimes called Pricing Officers—are in high demand. According to Considine Legal Search, 76% of big firms now employ some sort of pricing officer, and 44% of these positions were created in the last two years. They also found that a bidding war for these positions is underway, with 28% reporting compensation packages of $250,000 or more.
While law firms face nearly-constant pressure to adapt to the legal industry’s new realities, it’s ironic that this state of affairs has not sent firms into a frenzy of change and disruption. In fact, the pace of change has been slower than would be expected considering the multiple forces in play.
Customer service tends to be an administrative issue handled by someone else. However, in today’s highly competitive legal market, a firm’s customer service level is fast becoming a differentiator between successful firms and all the rest.
Although many economists consider the recovery following the 2008-2009 global recession to be anemic, economies around the world are in fact rebounding. So how does this economic forecast relate to law firms?
Associate lawyers today face an unclear or undesirable path to partnership, so it isn’t surprising that most firms lack an effective plan to ensure leadership succession.
Most lawyers, and the firms who employ them, tend to be resistant to change. By nature and training, lawyers think logically. Therefore, any attempt to alter the status quo at a firm is likely to be met with skepticism and challenging questions.
Amid rising pressure to increase revenues and profitability, lawyers are beginning to focus more on improving the processes they use to run their firms.
Alternative fee agreements (AFAs) are now commonplace and widely accepted in the legal industry. According to the Washington Post, 80% of law firm leaders now believe that these non-hourly billing options are a permanent change to the legal industry—compared with only 28% in 2009.
The relationship between firms and technology is complicated, to put it mildly. While many firms already own advanced technology solutions, they are failing to properly train, integrate and adopt these systems into their practices.
The key to getting the most out of your LPM strategy is to start implementing LPM then step back and look at where the process is helping you better understand your business.
Often, the business advice given to firms overlooks some very basic steps that can quickly improve their performance. The term “strategic planning” may sound abstract, but if pursued in an intelligent way, it can effectively address many of your firm’s everyday challenges.
It’s natural to compare your firm to others, particularly when they are direct competitors. But what metrics are you using to determine if your firm compares favorably? There’s a tendency in law to evaluate success or failure anecdotally, rather than examining the cold, hard facts and figures. In the business world the term “benchmarking” describes the process of dispassionately measuring a company’s performance against industry standards, and it’s now […]
Everyone experiences fear of change. It’s natural—it protects us from dangerous, impulsive mistakes and ensures that we won’t abandon what has worked in the past. That fear, however, can also become a debilitating obstacle to advancement.
As we approach the holiday season, we at Aderant strive to look beyond our company and consider how we can impact the communities in which we live. In reflecting on the charitable and giving spirit of the season, the long-established practice of legal pro bono work came to mind.
While it’s true that firms with a global reach are usually at the top of the legal rankings in terms of size and revenue, even smaller firms are now feeling pressure to provide more cross-border services to clients.
In this new age of “Client is King”, the most successful firms are going through an evolution – or in some cases, even creating a revolution – in order to deliver value to a client.
Briefing, published by the Legal Support Network talks to Karen Bailey, head of solutions consulting EMEA for Aderant, about combining business intelligence and matter management tools to make a great leap forward in pricing and profitability.
In my opinion, stability takes on two important forms in this context—financial stability and leadership stability. Without financial stability and access to capital investment in product development, innovation becomes very challenging.
A global legal technology expert has told Lawyers Weekly that law firms that are cost-cutting rather than making strategic investments have their heads in the sand.
Since there is a finite limit to cutting expenses to increase profitability, I would suggest that firms look to grow profitability by analyzing and negotiating more profitable fees with current and prospective clients.
If you had to choose one metric that reflected your firm’s overall health, would it be revenues or profits? Firms often make the mistake of focusing just on revenues, operating under the assumption that greater revenue means greater profitability when, in fact, their profitability is the key metric.
Why do revenue totals receive so much attention? According to Edge International Consultants, revenue is simply easier for firms to calculate. And […]
For many college graduates, the decision to apply to law school is not as automatic as it used to be. Many legal experts and commentators have declared that the “law school bubble” has burst, and that students should look long and hard before taking on the time and debt necessary to obtain a J.D.
How confident are you that your firm’s confidential and privileged data is safe? If your law firm resembles most in the world today, your employees regularly use unencrypted email and routinely store files on flash drives.
In this transitional market some firms have recognized that there are great opportunities for growth if they can successfully identify, manage and mitigate their risks.
Hardly a week goes by where news of a big merger, or at least rumors of a merger, doesn’t shake the legal world. Last month featured the merger of Squire Sanders with Patton Boggs to form “Squire Patton Boggs”. According to the Am Law Daily the combined firm will cover 53 cities worldwide with 1,550 lawyers, making it the 21st-largest firm worldwide.
I’m not at all surprised by this trend. […]
A technology vendor somehow manages to oversimplify or overcomplicate an issue and operates at a distance. Conversely, a partner will always try to resolve issues, make your working life easier, and find simple solutions to complex problems. As the proverb goes, “If something sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.”
Few would argue that social media is rapidly changing every aspect of our daily lives. Mobile technology has transformed the way we communicate, work, and ultimately make new connections. For most law firms, however, this transformation to an online-centered world pushes up against the tried-and-true methods of word-of-mouth referrals, client meetings, and paper-based practices.
I will admit that, until recently, I was skeptical about social media in the legal industry. […]