ABA Journal

The New Normal

Successful law firms provide both proper environment and tech tools

The noble legal profession is notorious for its inability to move away from long-standing traditions. While many firms of all sizes experiment with new technologies, methodologies and business practices, the vast legal landscape can hardly be distinguished from itself two or more decades ago.

A 'principled' artificial intelligence could improve justice

“To what extent should societies delegate to machines decisions that affect people?” This question permeates all discussions on the sweeping ascent of artificial intelligence. Sometimes, the answer seems self-evident.

Realign laws on evidence-gathering on the internet, Google GC says

For as long as we’ve had legal systems, prosecutors and police have needed to gather evidence. And for each new advance in communications, law enforcement has adapted.

Credentials or outcomes: What's the fairest way to assess lawyer performance?

When we meet with law firm managing partners and senior partners, we often ask them how well they understand their metrics.

Do you understand your firm’s profits per partner?

Do you understand how many hours you and other partners have billed and what billing rates are?

Do you suffer from 'commoditization blindness'? If others can do your work for less, open your eyes

During the past few months, I have been giving presentations all over the world. One of the things I would touch upon are the eroding effects of commoditization. I know there are a lot of misconceptions around this topic. By now, most lawyers acknowledge that commoditization exists, but most believe commoditized work equals "simple work" or "bulk work." This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Moving from Good Law to Great Law

Five years ago, a committed group of law firm leaders and law firm service providers embarked on a journey to reimagine the legal profession with a futurist’s view.

While many innovation journeys begin with an examination of the current state of a business, team, product or service in order to determine how to make what exists better, this innovation journey was different.

Setting the CLOC forward on operational excellence

Not competent in basic tech? You could be overbilling your clients--and be on shaky ethical ground

Are lawyers artistes or shortstops: how to measure performance?

Can justice be served online?

Rethinking rewards: What BigLaw can do about pay

Choosing your law firm's optimal markets

I think many law firms historically acquired their clients first and their markets second. Somewhere early in a firm’s genesis, one of its lawyers landed a client and performed the assigned tasks well; impressed, that client hired the lawyer again and recommended the lawyer to a similar client, which also retained the lawyer, and more followed.

Can changing how we measure lawyer performance unlock diversity?

HP’s legal department recently announced that it will withhold up to 10 percent of fees from law firms that do not meet its diversity standards, to draw attention to law’s lagging performance in advancing diversity.

What lawyers can learn from a dollar-store model

Innovation has been the buzzword in the legal sector for several years. These days, there is a seminar or conference on innovation or IT disruption in the legal sector every week. Fueled by these repeated messages, many law firms start building apps, giving models away for free or embark on using software for such tasks as due diligence.

Build legal tech tools with actual lawyers in mind

When I was a kid, my dad used to caution me against seeing other people’s concerns through my own eyes. “When you’re a hammer, not everything is a nail.”

What BigLaw gets wrong about pay

Does tying performance to money stifle innovation and change?

This past summer, I spoke to a group of in-house lawyers about implementing the principles behind the agile manifesto for lawyers, something I wrote about in the New Normal.

Tech knowledge makes lawyers more productive, and could be key to increasing access to justice

Mandatory tech CLE: An idea whose time has come

One complaint. Out of 103,000 lawyers. One solitary complaint. The Florida Bar only received one formal objection to its proposal to add three hours to its MCLE requirements and reserve all three hours for technological competence.

Does machine-learning-powered software make good research decisions? Lawyers can't know for sure

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