A successful law firm ignores LinkedIn at its own peril. Similarly, sticking to a “cookie cutter” approach in the practice of law stymies its effectiveness. Legal Blogwatch and Law Department Management recently touched on both these signs of changing times in what was referred to in LDM as the “Decade of Data”. As law firms open up their options and seek to stay current in the age of far-reaching information, they seek avenues never before utilized. For instance, LB tells us that BigLaw powerhouse Latham & Watkins (founded in 1934, and now with 2,000 attorneys in its 13 different countries around the globe) has put out feelers for a “Social Media Specialist” to, in addition to its promotional endeavors, lead internal training on the finer points of interfacing on social media. The new Social Media expert would also integrate with the firm’s public relations and marketing efforts.
So does a law firm really need to be on Twitter? Apparently L&W thinks so. They are looking for a qualified individual who, among other duties, will “stay abreast of best practices and trends” in the digital and social media worlds; support the design and development and implementation of blogs; and keep a finger on the pulse of whether what they’re doing in the world of social media and digital communications is reaping any rewards. To learn more, go to: http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_watch/
And cookie cutter solutions to legal problems are also passé, says LDM’s veteran management consultant Reese Morrison. Thinking a little outside the box will help the practice of law arrive at a more efficient standard. Right now, there are many different software systems being used. Morrison urges that opportunities be taken to “process map”, so that one widely-used system may come out of all this variance.
Morrison (pictured here) mentioned the results of a global benchmark survey on matter management systems. “Astoundingly,” he says, “They mentioned 30 different systems!” He also compared the amount spent by German lawyers and U.S. lawyers on internal and external expenses, and arrived at the similar figure of $1 million per lawyer. Morrison, speaking mostly of in-house attorneys, says “call me an apologist, but the important work…has a solid proportion of difficulty, unpredictability, variety and craft.”
Morrison goes on to state that change is needed so that law firms concentrate less on “the process” and more on process improvement. Most important, standardization in a multiple system approach to law management will put everyone on the same page.
He welcomes the fact that so many different systems are being used and urges variance while everyone seeks the best way to do things. “Non-lawyers may envisage a cookie factory where business terms go in and, by some recipe and cutter, contracts come out.” In reality, “the more we standardize…the more efficient we will be.” For more information, go to http://lawdepartmentmanagement.typepad.com/.