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Ahead of the Curve

March 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.


    

"LEVERAGING DATA TO DRIVE INNOVATION IN A POST-PANDEMIC (WE HOPE) WORLD"

With a new year and fresh outlook for the future, the time is ripe for legal technologists and innovators to take the delivery of legal services and client experience to the next level. One key is recognizing that successful innovation is equal parts mindset, method and message.

Learn more

Resource: Debra Baker, Law Journal Newsletters (requires free subscription)


"PANDEMIC DRIVES LAW FIRMS AND CLIENTS TO COMMON GROUND ON PRICING"

The current circumstances are giving rise to conversations about pricing, and driving both sides of the law firm-client relationship to seek common ground — both in the form of tried-and-true alternative fee arrangements and those that reflect a more innovative approach.

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Resource: Dan Packel, Law Journal Newsletters (requires free subscription)


"ZOOM FATIGUE IS REAL AND HAS FOUR BASIC CAUSES"

The much discussed idea of Zoom fatigue turns out to be a real phenomenon according to new peer reviewed research from Stanford academics. The study published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Technology, Mind, and Behaviour found that meetings conducted via video calls leave participants feeling more exhausted and emotionally drained than those held face to face. (Link at bottom of article to participate in the research and receive your own Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue (ZEF) score.)

Learn more.

Resource: Workplace Insight


"CHANGING LEGAL LAUNCHES TO SUPPORT SECTOR EVOLUTION"

The goal is to raise awareness and increase engagement on change issues via publishing thought leadership and holding events (which at present will have to be online-/webinar-based), and when we gather enough data together to publish reports.

Learn more.

Resource: Artificial Lawyer


"INTERNATIONAL GROUP FORMS THINK TANK TO PROPEL CHANGE IN THE LEGAL BUSINESS MODEL"

An international group of seven legal industry leaders and experts, led by U.K. blogger and consultant Richard Tromans, have formed a think tank to propel change in the legal business model, with a particular focus on how legal services are billed and delivered in the corporate and commercial law sector. Called Changing Legal, the think tank will focus on three interrelated issues: eliminating the billable hour, promoting shared standards and data, and promoting alternative forms of legal services delivery, including the regulatory reform needed to accomplish that.

Learn more.

Resource: Robert Ambrogi, LawSites


"NON-LAWYER-OWNED FIRM SET TO LAUNCH OUT OF UTAH 'SANDBOX'"

A company specializing in registered agent and corporate filing services said Monday that it is set to launch a law firm in Utah this month as the state experiments with a novel program permitting non-lawyer-owned entities to offer legal services. Law on Call, owned by Wyoming-based Northwest Registered Agent LLC, is one of 20 organizations to receive approval so far to take part in a regulatory "sandbox" program centered around removing barriers to practicing law and finding innovative ways to meet the legal needs of the public.

Learn more.

Resource: Justin Wise, Law360 (requires a free subscription)


"SIX THINGS EVERY LAWYER (AND MARKETER) SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LAWYER ADVERTISING ETHICS"

When it comes to the regulation of advertising, an ounce of understanding can do two things. For one, knowing about the lawyer advertising ethics rules can prevent disciplinary trouble. Second, understanding these rules can maximize your marketing messaging. While it’s impossible to go through the various state rules in this space, here is a brief framework to help understand the most important issues. I’ve plowed some of this ground in prior posts, but the following sets out what I believe to be the six most important issues.

Learn more.

Resource: William Hornsby, Attorney at Work


"VIEWPOINT: WHY REMOTE WORK IS CORRODING OUR TRUST IN EACH OTHER"

Strive to maintain positive relationships: As millions of employees continue to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, our trust in colleagues and leaders may be evaporating. If we can't see our co-workers, we don't know for sure that they are doing their share of the work. There are a few steps leaders should take — and one they shouldn't — to bring trust back to work relationships.

Learn more.

Resource: Mark Mortensen and Heidi K. Gardner, SHRM

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Teresa Walker, Chair — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

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

Daniel Patrick Atcheson — Jenkins Wilson Taylor & Hunt, PA

Melissa Chambers — LawPay

Suzanne Koch  Fulcrum GT

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

Teresa L. Reiner, CLM — Gislason & Hunter LLP

Valerie A. Williams — Pender & Coward, PC

ALA Board of Directors Liaison to Committee

 Brian P. Gilman, CLM — Smith Debnam

ALA Liaison to Committee

Patricia P. Olejnik, CED — ALA's Associate Director, Experience Planning & Design

[email protected]; 847-267-1252