Several articles and surveys that have come out recently suggest a looming donnybrook in 2023 between law firms and business clients. The law firms want to aggressively raise rates but their business clients claim to be outraged by such efforts. These clients also say they plan to resist such efforts aggressively.

Pardon me, but

Lexion, an AI-powered contract management system geared to in-house lawyers and legal professionals, recently announced the results of a survey of some 450 in-house legal professionals. The Survey sought information on the state of legal technology, the potential economic slowdown, and the potential impact of any slowdown on their work. The results were published in The State of Legal Technology: Improving Efficiency with Existing Staff and New Technology as Hiring Slows. Respondents include in-house counsel, legal operations professionals, and contract managers across various industries.

Much of what the Survey found was not surprising. Close to 90% of the respondents are worried about the economy. Most of the respondents (almost 70%) believe their companies will likely soon slow down or freeze hiring. Most think they will also need to reduce outside counsel spend and even conduct layoffs.

Continue Reading Legal Tech: It’s Not Just for Lawyers Anymore

I just finished reading James Patterson’s book, The Last Days of John Lennon. In it, he goes through a fair amount of the history of the Beatles, both before and after the breakup.

I was struck by the role Ringo Starr played in the group. Like Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer who recently passed away, Ringo never really got the credit he deserved for being a world-class drummer. But more than that, reading the book, I discovere the role Ringo played in the group’s culture and with John, Paul, and George after the breakup. It was Ringo who tried to heal the relationships between the three. To keep them in touch with one another. To be there for them when they needed his presence. In many respects, he was the (and is) the Beatles unassuming flame keeper.

Continue Reading Every Law Firm Needs a Ringo

Several years ago, I was engaged by an insurance carrier to defend many of its insureds in some repetitive litigation across the nation. At one point, the VP of Claims to whom I reported and I were asked to brief the carrier’s VP of subrogation on the litigation. The subrogation unit was exploring whether any recovery actions could be brought against those arguably responsible for the losses and costs. (In most insurance companies, pursuing third party claims is the responsibility of a separate subrogation unit).

We were sitting in the palatial waiting area of the subro VP’s office when I spied a picture on the wall of a well-known outside subrogation lawyer. This lawyer was well known for obtaining several significant recoveries of the carrier. I jokingly asked my guy why my picture was not on his waiting room wall. He said, “Steve. The guy whose picture is on the wall makes us money. You just cost us money.”

Continue Reading Why Are So Many In-House Counsel Are Reluctant to Bring Plaintiff Actions?

Everyone is talking about the recent Partners Compensation Survey conducted jointly by Major, Lindsay and Africa, and Law360. Perhaps rightly so. The data for the Survey came from some 1800 equity and nonequity partners. While it was not specified, my guess is that those surveyed primarily came from larger firms.

The big headline from the Survey is that 2021 was a great year to be a partner in big law, at least financially. It was a record year across the board. So much for the notion that you can’t be productive working from home. But there were some other takeaways that are perhaps not so attention-grabbing. I recently talked with Craig Savitzky, Senior Data Analyst of Law360, about some of these.

Continue Reading The Partners Compensation Survey: Lots of Interesting Non Comp Findings

Just like Moneyball concepts changed baseball forever, perhaps the same may be happening in legal tech. Yes, legal tech companies are making more data and financial based decisions. But the old days seemed, well, more fun.

Another day, another announcement by a legal tech company of increased integrations, acquisitions, or consolidations. Monday, Reveal announced that it acquired Technically Creative. Tuesday it was MyCase announcing an integration with LawToolBox for rules based court calendaring.

Integration, acquisitions, and consolidation are all the rage in legal tech these days. We have seen FastCase partner with Visalaw.AI for a state of the art immigration case management platform. (October 25). On October 17, it was announced that Netdocs was acquiring Worldox. Clio recently announced advanced several third party app integrations. (October 10). Haystack acquired Business Intelligence Associates (September 7). Relativity acquired Heretic (August 29). BigHand acquired Digitory Legal (August 22).

Continue Reading Moneyball Comes to Legal Tech? Or Am I Just An Old Curmudgeon?

As things stand now, it looks like Elon Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter will go through. I fear what that all means for Twitter users and the legal tech community.

A couple of things seem certain. First, Musk has repeatedly said he plans to cut Twitter staff by a jaw dropping 75%. Secondly, he has promised to open Twitter to those who may have been banned or at least muzzled in the past for outrageous, untrue, or abusive tweets. Both could significantly affect the platform’s future usefulness for those in the legal community.

Continue Reading Wither Twitter: What It Could Mean for the Legal Community

I recent returned from the annual Clio conference, at which it released its 2022 Legal Trends Study. This Survey of Clio lawyer  customers and others comes out every year.

In addition, Aba Practice Forward Group also recently realized its own Survey of some 2000 members.

The two Surveys are interesting both because they offer a look at the post-pandemic (we hope) world and because the findings are in many ways similar. Since the studies presumably were not of all the same people, the similarities give a lot of credibility to both results.

Continue Reading CLIO and ABA Recent Surveys: A Tale of Two Studies

“By the way, you know, when, when you’re telling these little stories, here’s a good idea. Have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!”

Neal Page (played by Steve Martin) in the 1987 movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Clio’s Legal Trends Report came out this week at Clio’s annual conference. One of the key findings is that lawyers and legal professionals don’t want to return to the office like they used to. I know. It’s those lazy younger workers who want to drink coffee and sit around in their pajamas at home and not work. I mean, who wouldn’t want to commute an hour each way to get to an office to do the same thing  they do at home. And be berated by a senior partner for being so uncommitted.

Continue Reading How to Build Culture, Train Associates and Make People Happy in a Remote World

The big, extravagant Clio legal tech Conference kicked off today in Nashville. ClioCon is one of the most attended and well respected legal tech conferences. It’s famous for its well known keynote speakers from all walks of life, its training sessions and tracts, workshops, and of course, parties. This year’s Conference is the first in-person Conference since 2019. It’s been missed.

Continue Reading ClioCon 2022: First Rate Conference That Sends the Right Message