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Ahead of the Curve

August 2017

PURPOSE

The Professional Development Advisory Committee’s (PDAC) purpose in providing you this communication is to further its goal of periodically sharing topical information regarding the legal industry. Our hope is that one or more of the updates will provide a spark of insight to assist with your work on behalf of ALA as well as within your firm or legal department.


    

Past Issues

2017

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"‘SEVEN WAYS TO BOOST LAW FIRM REVENUE"

"Let’s be honest. Tracking time and then generating invoices is the least fun part of being a lawyer or running a law firm. You went to law school to practice law, that’s your passion. Yet without the essential task of tracking your time well, invoicing promptly and collecting money, there’s no way to keep your practice going." Read more.

Resource: TimeSolv, Law Practice Today


"LEADERSHIP IMPACT ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE"

"It's not news that lawyers across the country struggle with stress and work-life balance issues. Firms lament that the urgencies of client needs make it impossible for a lawyer to live a more balanced life. While clients can be demanding, firm culture has significant influence on the stressful imbalance in lawyers' lives. When leaders ignore the issue, they subject their firms to costly attrition as well as undue risk of malpractices, and cost to their lawyers can be even more grave. Read more.

Resource: Debra L. Bruce, Law Practice Today  


"AT ILTA, IBM POSITS AI IS NECESSITY FOR FUTURE BUSINESS OF LAW"

"IBM Watson Legal leaders put AI into context and discussed how it is being used in the legal industry." Read more.

Resource: Ian Lopez, Legaltech News


"HR’S 'HAIR'–Y FUTURE: 5 WAYS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL TRANSFORM HUMAN RESOURCES"

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) is like the Industrial Revolution on steroids. It is poised to transform virtually every industry on a scale that will leave many people breathless." Read more.

Resource: Jack Uldrich, Kentucky SHRM


"CAN OR SHOULD EMPLOYERS FIRE EMPLOYEES WHO PARTICIPATE IN HATE GROUPS?"

"Legal experts say the decision should be based on case-by-case determinations." Read more.

Resource: Allen Smith, JD, SHRM


"4 TIPS FOR ELIMINATING GENDER BIAS FROM JOB ADS"

"Although most employers strive to create an objective hiring process and attract a diverse workforce, they often fall into the trap of crafting job advertisements that inadvertently contain language that may encourage just one gender to apply." Read more.

Resource: Vin Gurrieri, Law360.com


"REMOTE AND FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES FOR ATTORNEYS AND STAFF"

This ABA Journal article discusses BIGLAW establishing flexible work arrangement policies to attract and retain top talent by utilizing technology readily available for attorneys and staff members. In spite of the advances in technology, it seems a majority of partners and associates still feel remote work might be detrimental to their careers. Read more.

Resource: Allison Deerr, ABA Journal 


"THIS CEO GIVES HIS EMPLOYEES A 3-DAY WEEKEND EVERY MONTH AND A $2,000 VACATION BONUS"

"In Douglas' eyes, three-day weekends are the next logical step in making SteelHouse a great place to work. In the last three years, only five people out of 250 have left the company, three of whom left for reasons unrelated to the job itself. "We have virtually zero turnover," he said back in September.

Douglas says he's wanted to implement the idea since the end of the summer. He's read innumerable news articles about the benefits of time off, many of which criticize the American obsession with work.

When he brought it up to his management staff there was complete, automatic support. 

Eventually, Douglas hopes to make three-day weekends the norm by shifting to a four-day workweek. For that, he and his team would need to look more closely at how the time off affects sales. In the meantime, SteelHouse Days will offer a glimpse.

Still, he's not taking the company's pulse every five minutes.

"It doesn't take a lot of science" to see that an extra day off each month makes people happier when they come in to work, he says. "It's just a matter of having the courage to do something different and believing that there will be a net gain from it."

Read more.

Resource: Chris Weller, Business Insider


"BLOCKCHAIN FOR LAW"

"The uniqueness of blockchain is that it can confirm existence of an identity, without the need for a central intermediary, and without having to reveal the associated details and descriptors of that identity.

This is the foundational idea of Integra — the idea that if you can confirm the uniqueness and existence of an individual, a document, a contract, a lawsuit, a transaction, or any number of other unique identities in law, without the need for a central authority, then you can create highly secure systems to transact the business of law without exposing every law firm and client to the type of security breaches that are becoming increasingly common.

The GLBC and Integra believe that their joint announcement will catalyze a new cycle innovation in legal technology that will benefit all of the stakeholders, and that’s why, unlike most other industry consortia, the GLBC will include members from every aspect of the legal industry." Read more.

 

Resource: David Fisher, Stanford Law School


"THE ROLE OF ENCRYPTION IN LAW FIRM DATA SECURITY"

"Whether, when and how to encrypt requires a careful look at what data the firm keeps, and how much protection it needs." David Greetham and David Levine, Ricoh USA, Cybersecurity Law & StrategyRead more.

Resource: David Greetham and David Levine, Ricoh USA, Cybersecurity Law & Strategy


"HIGH-TECH DOESN’T REPLACE HIGH-TOUCH IN RECRUITING: WHY TRADITIONAL ..."

Technology is definitely important as we adjust to recruiting millennials, but the focus can't be totally on one methodology. It is important to blend the old and new and include technology into our recruiting tools. Read more.

Resource: Lin Grensing-Pophal, SHRM


"LEGAL SERVICES INNOVATOR AXIOM UNVEILS ITS FIRST AI OFFERING"

"Since its founding in 2000 as an alternative provider of legal services to large corporations, Axiom has grown to have more than 1,500 lawyers and 2,000 employees across three continents, serving half the Fortune 100. With a reputation for innovation, it describes itself as a provider of “tech-enabled” legal services." Read more.

Resource: Robert Ambrogi, Above The Law


"4 WAYS FIRMS CAN GET MORE OUT OF THEIR CONTRACT LAWYERS"

"As law firms increasingly hire contract attorneys, some are finding the array of ways the lawyers can be used stretch far beyond the expected document review and due diligence work." Read more.

Resource: Aebra Coe, Law360.com


"7 TIPS TO MAKE A CYBER ATTACK COMEBACK"

"No matter how much money a firm is currently investing in cybersecurity, the reality is that it only takes one wrong click for a breach to occur." Read more.

Resource: Jeff Ton, Bluelock, Cybersecurity Law & Strategy 


"MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES PLANS TO NEARLY PHASE OUT BILLABLE HOUR"

We all know it is coming, but here is one of the largest companies in America outlining their plans to move to an AFA model that will work for them. If Microsoft is doing it, who will be next? Read more.

Resource: Gabe Friedman, Bloomberg Law



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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD — Foley & Lardner LLP

Jennifer Colwell, CLM, MBA — McGill, Gotsdinger, Workman, & Lepp

Kevin Costello — Holland & Knight LLP

Tammy Cowser, PHR, CP — Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

Lisa Dasher, CLM, CPA, CGMA — Wicker Smith O'Hara McCoy & Ford P.A.

Rick Hellers — nQueue Billback LLC

Lana McGinnis, CLM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP — Sturgill Turner Barker& Moloney, PLLC

Paul Morton — Burns & Levinson LLP

Stephen Wolf, CLM — Deutsch Kerrigan & Stiles, LLP

ALA Board of Directors Liaison to Committee

James Cornell III — Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, PC

ALA Liaison to Committee

Patricia S. Carrera, JD, CKM, CPLP — ALA's Sr. Director, Member Experience

pcarrera@alanet.org; 847-267-1252