Q. How many ministers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. It depends on whether the light bulb is really willing to change!
The same is true for lawyers and law firms.
I've been knee-deep in reviewing materials on change, particularly lawyer and law firm change, for a few months now for a project I cannot blog about just yet. But today several features about change crossed my Twitter feed and appeared in my inbox today. So, lawyers, if you have the time to think about your future this week, here are some resources for you.
No one is more surprised than me that I am leading off with words from a law school faculty member on change. (It is not like most law schools have been rushing to embrace needed changes.) But Frank H. Wu, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law has an opinion piece titled What Threatens Law Firms that is short, cogent and, in my opinion, spot on. (Not that the good chancellor needs my approval.) You might quibble with a detail or two, but he certainly isolates some of the issues our profession faces.
You can check out the credentials of the panelists at Bob's blog post. But let me attest, as someone who has seen a fair number of discussions on change management, this one is very good. (And nothing against the appearance of the fine panelists, but you can listen to this one hour program without having to watch the video the entire time.)
I didn't get to attend the recent ReInvent Law™ conference in Silicon Valley or the previous events. But Daniel Martin Katz, assistant professor at Michigan State's School of Law and one of the conference organizers, garnered some publicity afterwards when he was quoted by announcing at another event, "I'm developing a group of assassins who are going to [reform] the profession." You can stop by the ReInvent Law™ Laboratory website to see new developments.
Richard Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the nature of legal services has just released a new book called Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future. I'll be writing more about that when I complete it, but don't let my busy schedule delay you from purchasing this affordable new resource.
The point is not really whether a light bulb or a law firm wants to change. We rely on precedent for the law and have a comfort level with doing things as they have always been done. The question is whether your law firm is one that recognizes the need to change.