Instead of overthinking and overanalyzing associate return to office policies, why not let associates decide where and when they should work based on what needs to be done, the type of work they are doing and the needs and demands of the client and the partner with whom they are working?

Lots of chatter recently about how big law firms and, to a lesser extent, in-house legal departments should manage the return of their associates to the office as the pandemic ebbs. Should everyone be “strongly encouraged” to return to work every day (wink, wink, nod, nod)? Should the policy be work in the office so many days per week? Per month?  And one firm, in its benevolence, says it will allow associates to work one whole week at home per year. Per year.

Continue Reading Return to Law Office Policies? How About Good Work, Timely Done

I was reminded through a couple of examples this week of the importance of listening to your customers if you are a product or service provider. It’s stating the obvious: if you want to sell something to someone, you ought to know what they think, Duh…

Yet, lots of lawyers seem to resist the notion of asking their clients what they think of the lawyer’s work, the lawyer, and the law firm. Like its somehow beneath the lawyer to ask what can be done better? What was done poorly?

Continue Reading Duh. Its Called Listening to Your Clients

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

LexisNexis recently announced the release of its 2021 Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report. In its eighth year, the Trends Report, according to LexisNexis, is based on an analysis of more than $40 billion in legal spending, almost 8 million invoices, and more than one million matters.

This year’s report provides updates on its six critical billing related metrics. It is based on 2020 charges billed by outside counsel. And it includes an analysis of the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The report pulls from several granular subcategories of matters to provide more meaningful comparisons. These subcategories include litigation, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

Continue Reading LexisNexis 2021 Law Firm Billing Survey: Same Old, Same Old

Factor, one of the largest and more well known alternate legal service providers (ASLPs), recently announced the launch of something called the Legal Transaction Optimization service. Up to now, Factor has focused its offerings and products to in-house legal departments and law firm clients. But Legal Transaction Optimization is designed to provide law firms tech-enabled transaction management, due diligence, and documentation support to deal teams. In other words, Factor is asking law firms to buy services that would replace work that is being done by support staff and junior associates.

Continue Reading Factor Takes Aim At Junior Associate Deal Work

In its recent decision in TransUnion v. Ramirez, the Supreme Court clarified the mere risk of future injury can not support standing without a separate concrete harm. This will have far reaching repercussions in data breach and privacy litigation.

As I have discussed several times, there has been a glaring conflict among federal circuits concerning what is or is not standing in the data breach, virtual world

Continue Reading Data Breach and Standing: The Supreme Court Speaks. Finally

E-discovery providers are primed to make the shift from providing products designed for e-discovery to providing products for much more complex document analytics.

Casepoint is typically thought of as an e-discovery company, although it describes itself as a “leader in cloud-based legal technology solutions.” It recently announced a new iteration to its built-in AI and advanced analytics technology, called CaseAssist.

Continue Reading E-Discovery: It’s Now Data Analytics

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again. June 1971

Lots of speculation these days about what the new normal for law firms, especially larger ones, will look like. Will law firms continue to allow remote work? Or will they mandate a return to the office? Will they, as one firm has done ” strongly encourage” return (wink, wink, nod, nod)? Will they tell associates they can work at home…but if you want to be on the partner track….

Continue Reading Law Firms and the New Normal: Meet the New Boss?

Uber Preferred Counsel Program uses data, metrics and tough questions to determine outside counsels’ commitment to diversity.

Let’s be blunt: The legal profession in general and law firms, in particular, have an abysmal record of diversity and inclusion. I have written about this several times, but despite the urgings of those more influential and well-spoken than me, improvements, well, just haven’t happened. The most recent ABA Study of diversity progress (or better put, lack thereof) glaringly demonstrates the failures.

The improvement in quality of work and decision making of diverse teams—teams composed of those other than old (and young) white men—have been well documented. Despite this, and even though both law firms and clients talk a good diversity and inclusion game, nothing ever seems to change. Why?

Continue Reading Want Diversity in Law Firms? Clients Have to Demand It

Automated contract analysis and analytical tools are getting increasingly sophisticated, making transactional work more efficient and less lawyers centric.

Thomson Reuters today announced the launch of HighQ Contract Analysis. The product is a contract review and analysis tool that uses machine learning to answer specific questions from legal professionals and then spit out an easy-to-read report. The tool lets you ask such things as “What are the landlord’s maintenance obligations ?” or “Is there a mutual right to break?”

Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Announces a New Automated Contract Analysis Tool

Esquire eLitigate™ Helps Attorneys and Court Reporters Standardize and Optimize Virtual Deposition Processes.

Esquire Deposition Solutions, a national provider of remote and in-person court reporting and video, yesterday announced it is partnering with a remote deposition and exhibit management provider vTestify to provide a product called Esquire eLitigate™™. eLitigate™ is a technology platform that’s designed specifically for virtual depositions. Currently, in a pilot phase, Esquire eLitigate™ will be released commercially in August 2021.

Continue Reading Esquire and vTestify Announce All-in-One, Virtual Deposition and Exhibit Management Platform