Posts Categorized: Innovation

Targeting the variable fee

Posted by & filed under Billing, Innovation, Talent.

For as long as most lawyers can remember, the billable hour has defined, powered, and shaped their law firms. It determines how lawyers work, how they sell their work, how much they earn, and how they assess and reward their employees. It breeds inefficient, overworked lawyers and frustrated, resentful clients; but it has also proved… Read more »

Hands across the water

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Innovation.

I don’t normally focus on very large law firms and mergers thereof, but I’ll make an exception for this one. As you might have heard, US-based Hogan & Hartson and UK-based Lovells have apparently reached an agreement to merge their respective firms by May 2010. The combined entity (Hogan Lovells, provisionally) would crack the top… Read more »

The solution or the problem?

Posted by & filed under Clients, Innovation.

Last week brought news of three innovations that, each in their own way, aim to increase access to justice. It’s noteworthy that none of them came from lawyers. First is a report that for the first time in Canada, a third-party litigation funding company, BridgePoint Financial Services Inc.,  persuaded an Alberta trial judge to allow… Read more »

The electric law firm

Posted by & filed under Innovation.

“Electric” as an adjective has kind of a dated feel, harking back to the 1970s when it modified Horseman, Company, Mayhem and Light Orchestra. But electric cars still retain a 21st-century buzz, keeping the momentum they developed during the recent oil shock as a serious alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles. The Economist recently devoted a special… Read more »

The apprenticeship marketplace

Posted by & filed under Innovation, Law School, New Lawyers.

Critical mass, like the famous definition of obscenity, is one of those things you can’t necessarily define but that you know when you see. We’re approaching a critical mass of discourse on the necessity of change within the American law school system, and when we reach that point, the focus will switch overnight from necessity… Read more »

Why change is so hard

Posted by & filed under Innovation.

Last week’s New Yorker column by James Surowiecki talked about health care reform in the United States, but it has something important to say about change in the legal profession too. Surowiecki noted the sudden remarkable rise in the number of Americans who say they’re satisfied with their current health coverage. Among other factors, he… Read more »

The real impact of private equity

Posted by & filed under Finance, Innovation.

It’s coming to the attention of many North American lawyers that our overseas colleagues are or soon will be selling equity interests in their law firms. Earlier this summer, American Lawyer profiled the progress of pioneering publicly traded law firm Slater & Gordon in Australia. More recently, Bloomberg News announced that at least three UK… Read more »

Just in case

Posted by & filed under Innovation, Outsourcing.

“Stuff expands to fill the space available.” If you’ve ever owned a closet, basement or garage at some point in your life, you know how true that is. The corollary, of course, is that the less space you have, the less stuff you find you really need. I once moved six times in the space… Read more »

The firms of the future

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Innovation, Solo & Small Firm.

“Does the future belong to virtual law firms?” That question was posed by an American Lawyer article earlier this week that focused on Virtual Law Partners, a growing firm nominally based in Silicon Valley but in fact operating, well, wherever its lawyers are. Virtual firms — two others, FSB Legal Counsel and Rimon Law Group,… Read more »

Three hotspots for change

Posted by & filed under Innovation.

I thought I’d bring your attention to three upcoming conferences that crystallize the enormous changes taking place in the legal services marketplace these days. I aim to attend all three, but if you can get to even one of them, you’ll be exposed to some tremendous insights into what’s happening in the legal profession right… Read more »

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