Ahead of the Curve (October)
with ALA's Professional Development Advisory Committee
If you are receiving "Ahead of the Curve" then you are an ALA leader with board, regional, chapter or conference planning responsibilities, or a designated ALA employee. The Professional Development Advisory Committee’s (PDAC) purpose in providing you this communication is to further its goal of periodically sharing topical information regarding the legal industry. Our hope is that one or more of the updates will provide a spark of insight to assist with your work on behalf of ALA as well as within your firm or legal department.
4 Ways You Can Create Better Employee Engagement
"Despite a lot of money spent on surveys and flavor-of-the-month motivational tools, in June, average engagement at U.S. companies stood at just 31.9%, roughly the same as it’s been for the past five years, according to Gallup’s latest poll. Poor ROI aside, that means 70% of employees would rather be somewhere else." Read more.
Resource: Bram Lowsky, Chief Executive
With Staff, Trust But Verify because it’s Not Your Money!
"I continue to be surprised at the number of times during a firm visit, be it with a solo attorney or in a small firm setting, I learn that complete oversight of client property has been turned over to an employee." Read more.
Resource: Mark Bassingthwaighte, ALPS 411
Knowledge Management's Place in the Legal Department
"Knowledge management has come a long way in the past decade, but where does it have a place in the future?" Read more.
Resource: Zach Warren, Legaltech News
Law Firm Leaders Forum 2015 – Legal Marketplace Seeing Hyper-Competition amid Flat Demand
"Read legal industry leaders view on the state of legal market in 2015." Read more.
Resource: Thomson Reuters, Legal Current
The end of the office as we know it. (UK)
"The spectre of robotics has cast a shadow over the law firm office as we know it. But are lawyers fully prepared, asks Chrissie Lightfoot?" Read more.
Resource: Chrissie Lightfoot, The Global Legal Post
Which practice areas are going to be the most lucrative in the future? (podcast with transcript)
"In this month’s episode of Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with a legal search consultant to find out what the best prospects are for a long-term, successful legal career." Read more.
Stephanie Francis Ward, ABA Journal
What the jobs are: New tech and client needs create a new field of legal operations
"What is not well-understood is that General Counsel are increasingly giving senior “legal ops” professionals the authority to improve legal department performance, including the hiring and managing of outside counsel." Read more.
Resource: William Henderson, ABA Journal
European Court Rules Safe Harbor Agreement Invalid
"In September, Yves Bots, Advocate General of the European Union Court of Justice, submitted an opinion stating that the EU/U.S. Safe Harbor agreement governing international data transfer was insufficient in its current form, remarking that it should allow member states to determine what classifies as the responsible handling of private information as outlined in the EU’s privacy directive. Now the EU Court of Justice (EUCJ) itself has issued a ruling, siding with Bots and potentially creating a host of legal hurdles for U.S. organizations." Read more.
Resource: Chris Dimarco, Legaltech News
Law firm mergers continue at record pace
Resource: Debra Cassens Wiess, ABA Journal
Give Your Clients the Most by Outsourcing
"Here are five tips to improve client service — and manage your workflow — through outsourcing." These tips apply for getting the most from hiring freelance lawyers. Read more.
Resource: Nicole Bradick, Attorney at Work
Good Tool, Bad Fit
"Adapting basic project management software for a professional services environment requires two significant additions: versatility to accommodate a host of new metrics, and unity to ensure those metrics are synchronized with the old, accessible to all, and transparent." Read more.
Resource: Richard Hayden, Projects at Work
A Lean Legal Guide: Techniques for the Agile Lawyer
(Registration Required) "A growing number of attorneys are turning to a set of project management and process improvement techniques. This guide will give you a brief primer on the history of Agile, its benefits, and three specific Agile techniques that anyone can adopt to begin improving your practice immediately." Read more.
Resource: John E. Grant, A Clio Publication
5 Strategy Killers
"It's one thing to have a lofty vision for your organization's future state, quite another to inspire people to achieve it. From a preoccupation with the immediate to weak buy-in from mid-level leadership, here are five barriers to implementing your strategic direction." Read more.
Resource: David Waits, Projects at Work
Why Are So Many Law Firms Trapped in 1995?
"Most still keep hard copies of old case files and have their lawyers manually track their hours in six-minute increments. Changes are arriving—slowly." Read more.
Resource: Leigh McMullan Abramson, The Atlantic
Law firms are using high-tech services to aid their work
"Article discussing advancing technologies generally as well as several innovative law firms that have developed specialized products." Read more.
Resource: Murad Ahmed, Innovative Lawyers
Lawyers slow to adopt email encryption and other forms of secure communications, ABA survey finds
"According to a blog post at LawSites by Robert Ambrogi, based on the results of the 2015 edition of the American Bar Association’s annual Legal Technology Survey Report, which is compiled by the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center, attorneys have been slow to adopt more secure forms of communication with clients." Read more.
Resource: Victor Li, ABA Journal
Blank Rome’s Firm-Wide Surface Pro 3 Rollout Provides Increased Efficiency
"Blank Rome, which boasts more than 540 attorneys across the globe, has taken the idea of mobile lawyering to a new level. Starting earlier this year, the firm supplied each of its firm employees with a Surface Pro 3. This makes them the first firm to roll out a mobility enabled ecosystem firm-wide." Read more.
Resource: Zach Warren, Legaltech News
5 Law Firm E-Discovery Models: Which Is Right for You?
"The model your law firm chooses makes all the difference when it comes to profitability and the bottom line." Read more.
Resource: Erin E. Harrison, Legaltech News
Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD - Foley & Lardner LLP
Mark Davey ~ Ricoh USA, Inc.
Anthony Greene ~ Jamison Risk Services
Eric Hightower, CLM, SPHR ~ Davis Agnor Rapaport Skalny
John Jakovenko, CLM, SPHR ~ Freeman Mathis & Gary
William Mech ~ ofPartner Consulting Services
Steven Morris, CLM, SPHR ~ Allen Matkins
Paul Morton ~ Burns & Levinson LLP
Savannah Robinson, MPA ~ Barnes & Thornburg LLP
ALA Liaison to Committee
Susan Hanf ~ ALA Sr. Director, Member Experience