December 20, 2016
Has everyone got their “fa la la” on yet?
While the holidays are often a mad rush for all of us, it seems that this year especially, everyone is behind with wrapping up their end of the year duties (and wrapping up their gifts), while we try to figure out shortcuts for how to manage to get everything done before family and friends descend on us (or you head out the door yourself). In among all of the holiday madness are your professional pressures, which, of course, take priority.
So rather than a thought-provoking, meaty post today, let’s look at some (mostly) quick ways that you can engage with your clients and other relationships – these can be done over the holidays, if you find you have some down time and you want to get a jump on 2017, or they can be things that you pencil into your schedule for next year. While the options for engagement are endless, and many of them are really in-depth, today, we’re going to focus on some of the simple ideas that can add a little boost to your relationships.
December 16, 2016
Somehow, we have reached the point where there are only two weeks left in the year (which, let’s be honest, after the way 2016 has treated most of us, I think we’ll be glad to see the back of it). But with only 15 days left, it’s a good time to reflect and review, as well as plan for the next 12 months – don’t forget to build some flexibility into those plans though!
As you’re reviewing and planning, give some thought to your content as well, and take a look at what the ILN members have provided us over the last week on ILNToday. Make sure to also check out our newly released international guide on “Buying & Selling Real Estate.”
December 15, 2016
We’re excited to announce today the release of the first edition of our real estate guide, “Buying & Selling Real Estate: An International Guide.” The collaborative electronic guide provides an overview of the legal aspects of buying and selling real estate in eleven jurisdictions internationally. It is designed to serve as a quick and practical reference for those buying or selling real estate in these jurisdictions.
As the facilitator of the guide, I can say that we’re delighted to publish this collaborative work and showcase the strength and depth of the combined expertise of our real estate lawyers. We already have plans to add additional jurisdictions to the publication, which will be regularly revised, to make this a comprehensive and up-to-date source of information. Like our corporate guide on establishing business entities, this is a real labor of love.
December 14, 2016
“Change or die.”
How many times have you heard that over the last eight years?
A friend of mine in the legal industry pointed that out to me yesterday, along with commenting that it always sounds so dire. And it does sound dire.
But after the statistics that we covered in last week’s post (1/3 of clients are openly dissatisfied with their outside counsel, chief legal officers rank firms at a 3 on a 1 to 10 scale for commitment to change, and clients are moving their legal work to other firms or to nonfirm vendors), it would seem that we should be properly incentivized to speed up the pace of change. From the Peer Monitor/Georgetown 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market, which cautioned BigLaw against a “Kodak moment”
December 9, 2016
The ILN was thrilled to officially welcome our newest member this week, Connolly Gallagher, in Delaware! For more information about Connolly Gallagher, please check out our press release welcoming the firm and stay tuned here for additional thought leadership from their talented lawyers! Before you head out for your mid-morning coffee, take a look through our roundup of posts from this week on ILNToday!
December 6, 2016
The “law firm of the future.”
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about this in recent months, not because I find it to be interesting (which I do), but because other than my “Instagram for Lawyers” post, this has been the hottest topic on Zen this year. I had a conversation with a senior partner at a law firm last week, who asked me “How do we communicate to people that the future is NOW?” His firm has been embracing these “futuristic” policies for a number of years, and recognizes that change in the industry is not happening fast enough.
In May, Altman Weil published the 8th edition of their “Law Firms in Transition” survey, which polls the managing partners and chairs at 800 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers (this year’s survey received 356 respondents from 49% of the 350 largest US law firms). If you haven’t already read at least the executive summary for this survey, I highly encourage you to take a look through it. In the midst of the second quarter of this year, Altman Weil said:
Are law firms still in transition in 2016? We think so, although the pace of change can seem modest. Despite pockets of true innovation, most firms are choosing to proceed with lawyerly caution in the midst of a market that is being reinvented around them.”
December 2, 2016
We’re in the home stretch for the year now – December is upon us! So, have you hit all of your goals for 2016? Although it’s a hugely busy time of year for many of us in terms of wrapping things up, and planning for next year, take some time to review your plan for the year and see if there’s anything that you can still implement over the next few weeks or at least add into your 2017 planning and goals. You might be pleasantly surprised to realize that you’ve got time for one more article, or your holiday networking plans will provide the opportunity for another contact or two. And taking a review of this year’s activities as you’re planning for 2017 will help to give you a realistic sense of what you can accomplish in the new year.
But first, take a look through these top posts from ILNToday, where some of our members have surely been hitting their content goals for 2016!
November 29, 2016
The end of this week marks the beginning of December, and we all know what that means…
Holiday party invitations are coming.
For introverts like me, holiday parties are probably not high on your list of exciting December “to dos” – it’s not that we don’t love them; it’s just that they’re rather exhausting. Extroverts may see them as a chance to enjoy a bit of relaxation with friends and meet new people. But no matter how you view holiday parties, they are definitely a key opportunity to network.
Whether you’re a networking pro or feel like there’s room for improvement, every networking experience is a chance to hone your skills. Recently, we held our Regional Conference of the Americas, and invited David Ackert, President of The Ackert Advisory, to facilitate a type of speed-dating session that we refer to as our “referral rendezvous.” We matched our lawyers in groups of 3-4 people, and they had 25 minutes to talk and connect with each other – some of them have known each other for many years, while others were meeting each other for the first time.
November 22, 2016
We’ve spent several weeks addressing the potential characteristics that the lawyers and law firms of the future will require in order to be successful. Today, we look at the last two contributors to High Q’s book on Smart Law and the Law Firm of the Future, but I invite all of you to continue to consider these issues and discuss them – particularly give some thought to whether the contributors missed anything you see as essential to law firms in the future and where you see our profession headed.
And what’s next? We’ve been looking at sort of where we’ll be in five or ten years, but not what the incremental steps will be to get there. So what is the first thing that firms and lawyers need to be doing in order to prepare themselves to be an effective law firm of the future? Is it embracing new technologies? Is it a shift in mindset at the leadership levels of the firm (or is that already happening)? Is it bringing in strong teams of professionals, not just lawyers? Are all of those things already taking place to some extent at many firms, and we just need to accelerate them?