Welcome to The Dialogue

The Dialogue provides a forum for those invested in BigLaw firms to add their voices to the remaking conversation. We encourage lawyers and others with a stake in the profession: clients, partners and leaders of BigLaw firms, NewLaw participants, academics, law students, analysts, commentators and others to join in. There are no right or wrong views, diversity and differences are crucial to imagining the future.

Since The Dialogue was launched in December 2015 growing numbers of authorities and leaders in the remaking conversation are contributing their analysis and views to The Dialogue.

Readers are invited to contribute their posts (subject to curation)  and comments. Please contact me at george.beaton@beatonglobal.com or send me a voice message. 

If you wish to be anonymous in a Comment or on SpeakPipe, please be assured your identity will not be revealed, but we will seek your permission to disclose your status, e.g. partner, and country.

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LawTech of the future is already here

Alex Hamilton, like the science fiction writer William Gibson, also believes ‘The future is already here – it is just not very evenly distributed’. This pithy post is Alex’s first on The Dialogue – welcome Alex. “Yesterday, I came across this article on ‘The Tech-Savvy General Counsel: Notes from a Future GC’, describing a day in the life of a GC in 2020.

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Top 10 Reasons Law Firms Resist Innovation

Top 10 Reasons Law Firms Resist Innovation was first published by Ron Friedmann in his blog PRISM, more than 10 years ago. Re-reading it prompted me to ask ‘What’s changed?‘ A good deal is one answer that true of some BigLaw firms? I know not what proportion of all firms these represent, but it’s likely to be less than 10%. What do other readers observe? And what conclusions should we draw? I look forward the dialogue. And, as always, thank Ron for his generosity in sharing and his perspicacity.    

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Reflecting on Reinvent Law NYC, 2014

Today I am reflecting on the Reinvent Law conference held in New York on February 7, 2014. Seldom, if ever, in my life has one day made such a positive difference to my professional career. It may seem self-indulgent to write about this event three years on, but I think it’s worth sharing. If only because it involves so many people in the Remaking Law Firms community to whom I am grateful and indebted.

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Rudderless Ships

Rudderless Ships is a new post by Mike O’Horo, a foremost proponent of how lawyers in BigLaw firms can improve the effectiveness of their business development activities. The volume of debate and activity around law firms’ evolution into sales organizations continues to ramp up. There are lots of opinions – and accompanying solutions offered – around every aspect of this emerging business function.

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The Fall of the Priests and the Rise of the Lawyers: Book review

The Fall of the Priests and the Rise of the Lawyers (1) took me three days to read. Normally I need months to get through books like this because I read several concurrently. Not so Philip Wood’s riveting work.

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You’re not selling what we’re buying

Demand is flat or falling at large law firms, says the newest Wells Fargo survey released yesterday. Revenue is now being driven solely by hourly rate increases, the last remaining income enhancement button that law firms can press and one they will presumably continue to press until it no longer responds. This is not an especially new development: as has been the case every year since 2011, the 2015 Altman Weil survey of Chief Legal Officers found that more law departments decreased their spend on outside law firms than increased it.

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Is 2017 the year the fat smoker quits?

Eleven years ago David Maister published a brilliant article on the barriers to strategic change in professional service firms. In Strategy and the Fat Smoker, he stated…

Much of what professional firms do in the name of strategic planning is a complete waste of time, no more effective than individuals making New Year’s resolutions (to lose weight or give up smoking).

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