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Ahead of the Curve

July 2021

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

2021
2020
2019
2018
2017

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"RAPID INNOVATION IS SCARY, BUT NECESSARY FOR LAW FIRM LEADERS"

To achieve the seemingly insurmountable task of preparing leaders to shepherd firms in the post-pandemic world demands an approach similar to what enabled society to create the COVID vaccine in record time: a unique set of circumstances, dedicated focus and sufficient resources.

Learn more.

Resource: Marcie Borgal Shunk, Law.com (requires free subscription)


"WHY YOU MAY ACTUALLY WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OFFICE"

When leaders start talking about getting people to return to the office, it’s natural for many employees to resist. The central problem is that many of the benefits of working from home are good for the individual, whereas many of the benefits of working from the office are good for the organization and affect the individual more indirectly. If you’re dreading going back to the office, it might help to have a reminder of how in-person work can actually benefit you — not just your company. The author presents three ways the office can make your working life easier.

Learn more.

Resource: Art Markman, Harvard Business Review


"LEGAL INDUSTRY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN 2021"

The legal service industry has experienced exponential growth over the past years. Many entrepreneurs have joined the industry due to its high returns on investments and profitability globally. However, the sector has begun experiencing market disruptions both internally and from consumers setting new challenges that firms must handle to grow. The article lists five challenges that have dominated the industry, especially since the beginning of 2021.

Learn more.

Resource: Team Linchpin, Linchpin SEO


"WHICH STATES ARE TAXING FORGIVEN PPP LOANS?"

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is provided an important lifeline to help keep millions of small businesses open and their workers employed. But while many loans have been forgiven at the federal level, many states, however, remain on track to tax them by either treating forgiven loans as taxable income, denying the deduction for expenses paid for using forgiven loans, or both. The map and table in the article show states’ tax treatment of forgiven PPP loans.

Learn more.

Resource: Katherine Loughead, Tax Foundation


"WHICH STATES ARE TAXING FORGIVEN PPP LOANS?"

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is provided an important lifeline to help keep millions of small businesses open and their workers employed. But while many loans have been forgiven at the federal level, many states, however, remain on track to tax them by either treating forgiven loans as taxable income, denying the deduction for expenses paid for using forgiven loans, or both. The map and table in the article show states’ tax treatment of forgiven PPP loans.

Learn more.

Resource: Katherine Loughead, Tax Foundation


"CALIFORNIA BAR ‘SANDBOX’ MAY RATTLE LEGAL COMPETITION FOR FIRMS"

A California State Bar group is divided over whether to limit a test of new legal service delivery models to organizations that serve low-income residents or broaden the experiment to a wide range of businesses.

Learn more.

Resource: Sam Skolnik, Bloomberg Law


"BILL WOULD MAKE ACCOUNTING PART OF STEM EDUCATION"

Congress introduced bipartisan legislation Friday to recognize accounting as part of the STEM programs in schools, as part of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula. The bill comes at a time when the accounting profession, like many sectors of the economy, is finding itself with a shortage of talent to fill the available jobs.

Learn more

Resource: Michael Cohn, Accounting Today


"HOW DO FIRMS BENEFIT FROM HIRING A CFO?"

It’s a well-worn cliché that lawyers are lousy businesspeople. As a result, many of the larger firms have already turned to financial specialists to help. More than 70% of Am Law 200 firms and over 85% of Am Law 100 firms employ a chief financial officer, according to a study by Colliers International, a real estate brokerage. The larger the firm’s revenue, the more likely it is to hire a CFO. But what about small firms or solo practices?

Learn more

Resource: Danielle Braff, ABA Journal


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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Terri Oppelt, CLM, SPHR, SHRM-CP, Chair  Armanino LLP

Denise L. Gaskin, PhD, MS, Vice Chair — RavenWork, Inc.

Daniel Patrick Atcheson — Jenkins Wilson Taylor & Hunt, PA

Roberta A. Bauer — Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, PC

Melissa Chambers — LawPay

Suzanne Koch  Fulcrum GT

Jennifer Trippett — Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Valerie A. Williams — Virginia Beach, Virginia

ALA Board of Directors Liaison to Committee

 Judity A. Hissong, CLM, PCC — Nesso Strategies

ALA Liaison to Committee

Kate Raftery — ALA's Associate Editor

[email protected]; 847-267-1252