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.

Readers are invited to contribute their posts (subject to curation)  and comments.

Please contact me at george.beaton@beatonglobal.com or call me +61 418 325 351.

If you wish to be anonymous in a Comment, 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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Law firm strategy in a buyer’s market

 Today’s post is by Jordan Furlong about his new book, ‘Law Firm Strategy in a Buyer’s Market’.

“Strategy” is a widely used and frequently misunderstood term in law firms. Ask most lawyers about their firm’s strategy, and they’ll think back to that time when the firm’s leadership team took several meetings and at least one offsite retreat to come up with a grand vision for the firm, eventually expressed in a handsome bound document that now occupies the rarely accessed top shelf in their office. (Editor: The truth of Jordan’s observation is not limited law firms.)

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Origins of the modern law firm: Insights and omens

I said to myself, these insights on origins of the modern law firm are even more apt than when Ed first penned them in 2015. In the past week, I have seen first-hand four substantial Australian law firms sliding further into difficulties because they have not fully understood the omens…..

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Why Now? The Rise of Alternative Legal Service Providers

Before he wrote ‘The Rise of Alternative Legal Service Providers‘ Casey focused on an issue of genuine moment and merit. He cited a study on the surge in spending on alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) in the context of the stagnation in spend on law firms. In The Rise of Alternative Legal Service Providers, first published on 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, Casey explains why ALSPs seem finally to be at an inflection point, given that their value proposition has been obvious for years (I would add, at least to those able and willing to see).

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Allen & Overy does it again and again. Others are following.

Allen & Overy’s senior partner Wim Dejonghe recently said: “It’s clear that lockstep has its limits, but it’s also clear that it is at the heart of Allen & Overy’s success.” Built on lock-step, one of the oldest planks in the BigLaw (business model) platform, Allen & Overy is an innovation pathfinder par excellence in the global legal services supply chain. This post captures some of the highlights the Allen & Overy journey and flags how other firms are taking steps to remake their businesss models. 

The post is intended to inspire others to preserve the best of tradition and embrace the future.

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Is Jonathan Molot right about BigLaw firms’ capital structure?

 The blogosphere and books are replete with the refrain that the BigLaw business model is a (the?) root cause of many of the challenges faced by owners, staff and, most important of all, clients. I only recently came across a scholarly article that makes, in my opinion, a major contribution to this discourse. Here I reproduce the abstract of the article and ask: “Is Jonathan Molot right about BigLaw firms’ capital structure?

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Large law firms must improve client service delivery

Today, regular contributor Ron Friedmann, provides readers with a glass half-full tour de force on why Large Law Firms Must Improve Client Service Delivery. Ron examines the critical importance for clients and firms of differentiating one large law firm from another. 

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The search for new opportunities in the legal market

Why ‘Blue Ocean’ strategy may work for law firms is the sub-title of Aric Press’ post on The Dialogue today: The Search for New Opportunities in the Legal Market. Read why in this most thoughtful of essays.

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