Ahead of the Curve (February '16)-2
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.
ABA policy-making body adopts principles to guide nontraditional legal services
"A divided American Bar Association House of Delegates approved a group of model regulatory objectives for states to use if they choose to develop or expand nontraditional legal services." Read more.
Resource: American Bar Association
Law Firm Hit by IRS After Paying out All Earnings as Deductible Compensation to Shareholders
Resource: Charles Rubin, Rubin on Tax
The Dirty Little Secret of Law Firm Billing
"The Wall Street Journal’s front-page headline on billing rates this month tells only part of the story. 'Legal Fees Cross New Mark: $1,500 an Hour,' That’s great if you can get it, but most firms can’t. The 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market from Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor tells a second part of the story: Realization and collection rates have plummeted." Read more.
Resource: Steven J. Harper, The American Lawyer
Time To Rethink Partner Capital Contributions?
"The lateral churn doesn’t just have firms juggling client business they’ve lost and gained. Amid the boom in lateral hiring, consultants say they are seeing changes in how firms collect capital contributions from new partners—and how they return capital to those who leave." Read more.
Resource: Nick Gluckman, The American Lawyer
Under Client Pressure, Law Firms Focus on Cost-Cutting
"From project management to offshoring and "near-shoring” administrative and IT functions, more law firms are adopting techniques that their clients embraced long ago. But change is coming slowly and is still meeting resistance from partners, according to a new report." Read more.
Resource: Julie Triedman, The American Lawyer
Non-lawyers will head up law firms in the next decade
"Most UK law firms will be managed by non-lawyers in the next five to ten years, a leading consultant says." Read more.
Resource: Global Legal Post
HR’s Top Five to Watch for in 2016 And What to Do Now
Five HR issues to review and assure you are in compliance around. Read more.
Resource: Sandra Hoyle Smith, B2 Management & Consultation
Study: Alcohol Abuse, Depression Widespread Among Lawyers.
"A new study found lawyers face the challenges of alcohol abuse and mental health concerns more so than other professions, and that the problems are more prevalent among those in the first 10 years of practice." Read more.
Resource: Alex Beall, Associations Now
Disruptive Innovation: New Models of Legal Practice
Resource: WorkLifeLaw, UC Hastings College of Law
Law Firm Leaders' Books of Business Lend Credibility
"As law firms grew in size and complexity, there was a well-adopted school of thought over the past decade that the firms' leaders should focus 100 percent of their time on managing what had become large-scale businesses. But in Pennsylvania alone, there are a number of firms, including the largest by head count and the most profitable, respectively, whose leaders have some of the largest books of business in the state." Read more.
Resource: Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer
Ironclad Techniques to Help Your Law Firm Triumph Over Change
Resource: Jana Schilder, AdvocateDaily.com
Marketing and Business Development
State of Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Today
Resource: Nicole Cudiamat Minnis, The National Law Review
Digitizing Law Records: It’s not as Simple as Just Scanning
Resource: Ricci Dipshan, Legaltech News
CYBERSECURITY ON THE ROAD Beware the Dangers of WiFi
"Many of us have to travel for our work, and that often means connecting to wireless networks. If you use unsecured public WiFi networks when working on client matters, that could mean trouble." Read more.
Resource: Greg Lyda, Attorney at Work
7 Things to Consider When Investing in Cloud-Based Practice Management Software
"In recent years, practice management software has become big business for legal technology. However, many firms are just beginning to feel less anxious about placing sensitive information into a cloud-based system and are starting to fully realize the productivity and security benefits of using cloud-based practice management (CPM) services." Read more.
Resource: Mike Susong, Legaltech News
Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD - Foley & Lardner LLP
Mark Davey ~ Ricoh USA, Inc.
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