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Ahead of the Curve

February 2019

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.


    

"ARE LAWYERS READY TO BE MANAGED BY METRICS?"

The latest trends in applying statistics to the delivery of legal services. This is the new reality you can't afford to ignore.

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Resource: Roy Strom, The American Lawyer


"WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT: NATIONAL PRACTICE TRENDS 2019"

This is an insightful article on what firms should be paying attention to in 2019.

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Resource: Ed Finkel, Wisconsin Lawyer


"WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU’VE MADE A MISTAKE"

In her book, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, author Kathryn Schulz writes, 'Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong.' In other words, our commitment to believing that we know exactly what’s happening and why, and what to do about it, is reinforced by us trying very, very hard not to think about this possibility: 'What if I’m making a mistake?' Or perhaps, even worse, 'What if I already made one?'"

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Resource: Deborah Grayson Riegel, Harvard Business Review


"TO TEXT, OR NOT TO TEXT, CLIENTS: AN ETHICAL QUESTION FOR A TECHNOLOGICAL TIME"

This is an interesting article, but perhaps more so for the client than the attorney. Like all of us, clients are expecting quicker communication and texting is an easy end to a means. However, both parties should take heed and acknowledge when texting a potential breach of attorney-client privilege may exist. The unfortunate part of this situation is that the attorney must own the responsibility of keeping the information confidential and part of the file when necessary, which they will figure out a way to do if they want to keep their clients happy! (One suggestion: Google "ways to change the text message display on your phone")

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Resource: Tom Kulik, Above the Law


"IT'S TIME TO OVERHAUL THE LATERAL HIRING PROCESS"

"Lateral partner hiring is characterized by big opportunities, big risks and low success rates. Law firms need a new approach. ... While the opportunities available to law firms in the lateral market are huge, so are the risks. Success rates in lateral partner hiring among Am Law 200 firms are relatively low. Twenty-four percent of lateral partners leave the firm that hired them within three years. Nearly half leave within five years. Even worse, two-thirds of lateral hires won’t produce 75 percent of their expected book of business. Given the average cost of hiring a lateral partner per year is $1.7 million (including basic salary, recruiting fees and onboarding costs), such low success rates are not trivial to a law firm’s finances. Put simply, bad hiring decisions are costing law firms (and their partners) significant amounts of money."

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Resource: Nicholas Bruch, Michael A. Ellenhorn and Howard Rosenberg, The American Lawyer (requires a free subscription)


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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