Modernizing Legal Service

THE FUTURE OF LEGAL SERVICES WILL NOT BE BUSINESS AS USUAL

This is my sixth post about law firms in the Coronavirus Crisis.

As governments around the US and the world begin to ease restrictions on social interaction, law firms, like all other business entities, are planning for “re-entry.” 

When law firms return from the compelled remote working experience, will they return to business as usual?  Will the fundamental operating models be the same as before?  Or will there be a “new normal”?  These are very real, and very important questions all law firm leaders need to answer.

History suggests that law firms revert to past practice once a crisis passes.  It is what they did after the financial crisis of 2008.  It is in their nature, they are trained to rely on precedent, and the old ways of working produce reliable results. 

I believe this time will be different for two fundamental reasons.  
Continue Reading Law Firms Must Look Ahead to a Very Different “New Normal”

AS LAW MODERNIZES THESE VALUES WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER BEFORE

This week I want to examine four core values that I believe enable effective legal service and promote public confidence, and their implications for our future. 

In almost all discussions of the future of law we focus on change.  What we need to do differently.  That is because we can and must do better.  A very healthy outlook.  

But, as we make changes, we should never lose sight of what enables clients and the public to have confidence in law and our justice system.  Those core values can be our guide as we decide how and what we change.

The Core Values of Effective Legal Service

The concept of “core values” took on special meaning for me when I read  Jim Collins’ and Jerry Jerry Porras’ seminal book Built to Last.  They were very helpful at Orrick as we articulated what mattered most many years ago.  They are values that must never be compromised. No matter how other considerations weigh on a decision, the core values must be honored.

I believe there are four core values that comprise the foundation of effective legal service: Client Focus; Quality; Character; and Reliable Outcomes. These are values established by our current system, at its best.  Here are my thoughts on each.
Continue Reading Four Core Values to Guide the Future of Law

OUR OUTMODED RULES IMPEDE INNOVATION AND CAUSE OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM TO UNDERSERVE A PUBLIC THAT NEEDS IT MORE THAN EVER

In my first post on Legal Services Today, I wrote that, while we have a great legal system, it can and must do better.  Nearly every observer agrees that law has not kept pace with advances in technology and process design the way other businesses and professions have.  

I listed three reasons law is not more modern.  This week, I address one of those reasons : the unduly restrictive rules governing the practice of law.

The Context Compelling Regulatory Reform

Law is more important than ever before.  Law is in everyone’s life; every business’ business; and in just about how everything works.  Everyone needs legal services today.

The way our legal system now operates, it does not meet the needs of the public.  In some cases not at all. In others not as well as it should.
Continue Reading It Is High Time to Reform the Rules that Govern the Practice of Law

THE UNITED STATES HAS A GREAT LEGAL SYSTEM.  BUT IT CAN SERVE CLIENTS BETTER, BUILD STRONGER FIRMS,  AND CREATE MORE AND BETTER CAREERS IN LEGAL SERVICE.  

First things first

I am delighted to launch Legal Services Today.  I am grateful for the assistance of Kevin O’Keefe and the entire team at Lex Blog for their support in getting this new blog up and running.

As the name suggests, this blog will focus on how legal services are delivered.  More particularly, it will focus on two main ideas: (1) how the law works and (2) how we can make it work better for everyone.
Continue Reading There Is A Better Way