Last summer, I wrote two pieces about the lack of gender equality in the profession generally and big law in particular. These were based on an ABA Survey, which summarized several recent trends of the profession in such areas as diversity, women, legal education, technology, and more. It was not a pretty picture. (My first piece summarized the findings, the second responded to some criticisms of my interpretations of the Survey’s findings).

 

A recent Survey by Burford Capital conducted by Ari Kaplan Advisors, confirms the startling gap between men and women law firm compensation, especially at the partner level. This gap translates pretty directly into a lack of power of women within the law firm. And a lack of power translates into an inability to change the conditions that cause it.

 

Continue Reading Burford Survey Reveals Big Law Gender Gap and Why

And you still can hear me singing
To the people who don’t listen
To the things that I am saying
Praying someone’s gonna hear
And I guess I’ll die explaining how
The things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing
Hoping someone’s gonna care

Kris Kristofferson, To Beat the Devil

Is the legal world really changing, or are we all still just talking about change?

 

Last week, for the first time in a couple of years, I attended the ABA TechShow in Chicago. It’s one of my favorite legal tech shows. Since its geared more toward smaller firms and solo lawyers, there is less high-power selling like, say at LegalWeek. This creates space for more substantive discussions and learning from vendors. That was certainly the case this year. The show featured multiple substantive tracks, over 2000 attendees, countless exhibitors, a start-up competition, and even a silent disco.

Continue Reading The Legal Innovation Glass: Half Empty Or Half Full?

Yesterday, the AmLaw 100 Annual Financial Survey came out, and it offers an interesting picture of where the bigs are and perhaps where the industry is going.

I also listened to an ALM webinar yesterday in which there was a fascinating discussion about the findings among Nick Bruch, am ALM analyst, Dan Packel, an ALM reporter and Gina Passarella, Editor-in-Chief of The American Lawyer. One of the big topics of discussion by the panel: what happens if and when there is a recession.

Here are some takeaways from the data and the discussion and then some of my predictions. Continue Reading The AmLaw 100 Annual Financials: A Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Roy Storm of ALM broke the news early this week that Casey Flaherty, owner of the consulting firm Procertas and former GC of Kia along with legal pundit Jae Um will join the legal bemouth, Baker McKenzie. They will join recently added David Cambria, affectionately called the “Godfather of legal operations,” in an effort, according to the firm, to  “reengineer the delivery of legal services.”

When I first heard the news, I was reminded of (and tweeted out) the question posed to Winston Churchill: “Sir, are you ready to meet your maker?” Sir Winston’s response: “Yes but is he ready to meet the likes of me?” And that’s the big question here. Continue Reading Cambria, Flaherty and Um to Baker McKenzie: Is Baker Ready For the Likes of Them?




Today’s morning keynote at ILTA was a topic near and dear to the heart of most legal industry observers and pundits: the so called Dramatic Shifts in Legal Services. A panel of esteemed luminaries including John Elbasan of Wilkie Farr, Zabrina Jenkins, Starbucks in house counsel, Dan Linna of Northwestern University, Jeffery Schwartz of Hinshaw and last but certainly not least for reasons that will become apparent below, John Fernandez of Dentons. Unrepresented on the panel, ironically, was anyone actively practicing with a law firm which, in and of itself, is emblematic of the continuing gap between those of us who believe there is a better way to provide legal services and those who provide them. Continue Reading Lawyers and Innovation: Let’s Talk About the Elephant In the Room