There was a great symposium in recent days on the future of law practice. Didn't you get your invitation? Well, that is because it just happened online without apparent advance planning or coordination. While I was attending my son's high school basketball banquet last night, Jordan Furlong was writing the blog post I intended to write about this. He published his post The Stratified Legal Market and its Implications this morning. While I could feel "scooped," I primarily feel like Jordan saved me an hour or so and probably created a finer product. Here's his lead:
"An extraordinary conversation has emerged among multiple authors in the blawgosphere over the past few days. It revolves around a pressing question: in light of the huge changes in the marketplace, what will become of law firms? ... No fewer than seven articles by six writers have explored this subject so far, and I recommend you take 10-15 minutes and go read these pieces."
Please take the time to read Jordan's post. My criticism is that Jordan must be a speed reader if he thinks anyone can find, read and digest all of those fine posts in 10-15 minutes.
Well, actually, I have another criticism of Jordan. He failed to note that this week also saw the release of the Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology podcast 41st Edition where Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway "discuss a number of trends that impact the future of the legal profession. They outline several challenges and then give strategies and tips for dealing with these challenges. As Yogi Berra once said, 'The future ain't what it used to be.' A resource list is included in the show notes." The podcast and show notes home page is here. (Note: Those of you who usually get the podcast on iTunes may not be able to due to the aftermath of the launch of the new ABA website. So visit the link instead.)
Of course, this was recorded before any of the articles noted above were posted. It is very interesting how many people are thinking similar things at about the same time.
I have put together an Oklahoma Bar CLE on this topic that many of you may find of interest. It is called Supercharge Your Law Practice and will be held May 18, 2011 in Oklahoma City and May 19th in Tulsa. But everyone reading this post is invited to attend via the live webcast on May 18. Put it on your calendar now. You can always register for a webcast at the last minute. (Although you should just register now. We know what happens to those open days on a lawyer's calendar.) Webcast info.
I have been thinking about this program for a long time and then I met a solo practitioner from Guthrie, Oklahoma, Tim Green, who has given me some great insight into designing law office production systems. I am so glad Tim has offered to share his knowledge with all of you. We're going to go in depth on systems, methods and tools.
So, read the articles noted about, listen to the podcast and enroll in our OBA CLE. Don't let the future sneak up on your practice and your livelihood.