Ahead of the Curve
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.
"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
"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.
"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
"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.
"Legal experts say the decision should be based on case-by-case determinations." Read more.
Resource: Allen Smith, JD, SHRM
"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
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
"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."
Resource: Chris Weller, Business Insider
"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
"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 & Strategy. Read more.
Resource: David Greetham and David Levine, Ricoh USA, Cybersecurity Law & Strategy
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.
"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
"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
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