Goodbye guild: Law’s changing culture

Mark Cohen’s column in Forbes, Goodbye guild: Law’s changing culture, struck a deep chord with this sentence: “Law is not about lawyers anymore”.

Rhetorically, one might ask, was law ever about lawyers? Like the other ‘original’ professions of medicine, priesthood and military service, law and lawyers – as I understand it – arose to further the interests of civil society and protect the rights of fellow human beings.

Which is what makes Mark’s commentary about law’s changing culture so important.

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New players driving value for legal departments

New players driving value for legal departments was written by Mark Cohen and Liam Brown and originally appeared in Canadian Corporate Counsel Association magazine. As I read it, the key point Mark and Liam make is that the NewLaw players, while still tiny in market share, are teaching clients new tricks. And this spells big opportunity – or trouble if they’re asleep at the wheel – for BigLaw incumbents.  

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The future lawyer

The Future Lawyer is based upon the Mark Cohen’s keynote address to The German Bar Association on May 26th, 2017. Mark starts by identifying some of the key challenges attorneys will confront, and then sets about the skills they will require to meet them.
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Legal marketing spend is up, so is client dissatisfaction. Now what?

Competition for corporate legal work is keen, writes Mark Cohen in Forbes in April.

Law firms vie with each other for a shrinking segment of outsourced legal work. Corporate legal departments and a growing array of well capitalized, tech and process savvy service providers now account for an almost 50% of legal spend. It’s not surprising, then, that law firms are stepping up investment in marketing and business development activities. Will this narrow the growing delta between rising demand for legal services and declining call for law firms? Short answer: not unless law firms address the myriad of reasons for client dissatisfaction as well as differentiate themselves.

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The legal vertical is already corporatized; law firms should be permitted to operate that way, too

The legal vertical is already corporatized; law firms should be permitted to operate that way, too by Mark Cohen explores a contentious topic. I congratulate Mark on his cogent arguments in favour. And I am sure all readers of The Dialogue are looking forward to hearing the views of BigLaw firm leaders and the institutions of the legal profession, like bar associations and law societies.   

Mark starts by with an exhortation: It’s time to stop pretending that the $300B U.S. legal industry is anything but big business. All legal providers—including law firms– should be able to operate from a corporate structure.

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