Skip to Main Content

Ahead of the Curve

June 2018

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.


    

"WHY THIS GC OF A $25B COMPANY HAS MIGRATED WORK AWAY FROM THE LARGEST, MOST ELITE FIRMS"

"As one of the GCs who signed last year’s open letter to the legal community, I would like to provide my thoughts on a recent finding coming out of this project, relating to the performance of the most influential and branded law firms. As the authors from AdvanceLaw note:

We write today with what may become the most controversial finding of the GC Thought Leaders Experiment. Based on in-house evaluations of over 1,400 legal matters, the largest and most established law firms lag the rest of the Am Law 200 in delivering high-quality client service. There are exceptions, but this overall finding holds, and it is statistically significant."

Read more.

Resource: Bill Deckelman, The American Lawyer


"A BOOMING FORCE IN THE LAW: THE MILLENNIAL LAWYER"

"With the U.S. Census projecting that millennials will “overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million”, this generation’s wants, needs and influence can no longer be ignored.

While researchers have studied this cohort for over a decade, not much research has focused on millennial lawyers. Cubicle Fugitive launched a proprietary research study to provide perspective on the much-maligned millennial group and to better understand what these lawyers wanted from their firms, their mentors and their marketing teams.


With almost 200 respondents from across North America, the results of this study provide valuable insight, feedback and advice from millennial lawyers to their law firms and fellow young lawyers on what they want and need to learn, grow, and eventually lead their law firms in an increasingly competitive and ever-evolving legal market."

Read more.

Resource: Cubicle Fugitive


"DATA IN THE DRIVER SEAT"

While we can’t compare Johnson & Johnson to most of our law firms, the use of technology in recruiting is prevalent. “Companies are using artificial intelligence and automation to unlock data, thereby making talent acquisition more efficient and candidate-friendly.” The use of chatbots, AI and robotic process automation over time will enable better outcomes in the recruitment process.

Read more.

Resource: Andrew McIlvaine, Human Resource Executive


"UNITEDLEX AND LECLAIRRYAN ANNOUNCE INNOVATIVE NEW LAW VENTURE"

"LeClairRyan has become the first law firm to sign on to what UnitedLex Corp. hopes will be a pioneering alliance between Big Law and New Law. The company's CEO expects that law firms could see their profits per partner rise up to 15 percent a year if they join the newly formed ULX Partners." This alliance will allow LeClairRyan and other law firms to outsource their non-legal operations and benefit from UnitedLex Corp.'s  technological expertise and access to additional investments in technology.  The continued use of outsourcing is showcased in this endeavor.

Read more.

Resource: Miriam Rozen, The American Lawyer


"THE U.S. AGAIN HAS THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL SUPERCOMPUTER"

"Plenty of people around the world got new gadgets Friday, but one in Eastern Tennessee stands out. Summit, a new supercomputer unveiled at Oak Ridge National Lab is, unofficially for now, the most powerful calculating machine on the planet. It was designed in part to scale up the artificial intelligence techniques that power some of the recent tricks in your smartphone."

Read more.

Resource: Genevieve Martin, Wired


"WHAT TO DO WHEN MORALE IS LOW"

This is a very lengthy, but a fantastic article on what causes low morale in law firms, how to recognize the signs and how to improve it. We've heard it all before, but this a comprehensive summary for sure. 

"This 14-page article offers practical guidance on what to do when the esprit de corps can use a boost at your law firm. It starts with leadership, and here are Larry's ten key factors that can transform any organization, including your firm.

  • Clear and Passionate Goals
  • Meaning and Purpose
  • Social Connection and Caring
  • Competence and Feedback
  • Autonomy
  • Pride
  • Gratitude and Recognition
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Time to Renew

The more consistently you apply these concepts and principles, the more likely you are to have a happy and productive law firm."

Read more.

Resource: Dr. Larry Richard, LawyerBrain LLC, Managing Partner Forum


"WE NEED AN OPEN DIALOGUE ON MENTAL HEALTH IN THE LAW"

Heartbreaking to hear that 89% of those responding to this survey said they are not aware of anything their law firm is doing or their law firm is not doing enough to support these mental health needs. We have to change this! It starts with us!

Read more (requires free subscription).

Resource: Jason Tashea, The American Lawyer

ALA Thumb

    

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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

Kevin Costello — Holland & Knight LLP

Tammy Cowser, PHR, CP — Foley & Lardner LLP

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

Rick Hellers — nQueue Billback LLC

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

Teresa Reiner, CLM — Gislason & Hunter LLP

Teresa Walker — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Stephen Wolf, CLM, CPA — Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP

ALA Board of Directors Liaison to Committee

Michael Bumgarner, CLM, CPA, CGMA — Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC

ALA Liaison to Committee

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

pcarrera@alanet.org; 847-267-1252