McKenna Associates, Inc
In today’s legal marketplace, clients are demanding services that require a new skill set and mindset from lawyers. Leveraging hundreds of interviews with General Counsels of large corporations and Heads of Innovation at law firms around the world, this keynote explores the changing legal marketplace, the new expectations of lawyers, and why lawyers need to fill the gaps that exist between what legal clients want and what lawyers deliver. It concludes by addressing how lawyers can innovate to fill in those gaps and enhance relationships with colleagues and clients.
Michele DeStefano, Professor of Law
University of Miami
Harvard Law School
Jeff Bezos was asked in the early years of Amazon how the company could move into new businesses (back then, e-readers) yet ultimately become a market leader with strong profitability. Bezos’ response: “Make a difficult promise, and then keep it.” Similarly, Stanford professors Jim Collins and Jerry Porras wrote in their book “Built to Last” that leaders of visionary companies had adopted “big hairy audacious goals” and then led their companies to achieve those BHAG’s. This presentation will focus on a similar dynamic for law firms. Start with big hairy audacious promises and goals (for example, profitability increased by at least 25% while attorney and client satisfaction are also increased by at least 25%) and then work backwards on ways to get there. Achieving these goals will turn mostly on people and change management, something especially challenging since most lawyers hate change. It also requires law firm leaders to deal with legacy cultures and systems that may work against innovation and change.
Michael Roster, Currently Adjunct Professor
University of Southern California
Formerly: General Counsel, Stanford University and Stanford Medical Center; Golden West Financial Corporation, Managing partner of Morrison & Foerster’s Los Angeles office, Chair of Association of Corporate Counsel
Innovation is a process with identifiable phases and conditions. Law firm cultures have not historically supported the conditions of experimentation and learning that are essential elements of the innovation process. Angela Sebastian, CEO, of Levenfeld Pearlstein, will share concrete and actionable items leaders can take to establish conditions that support innovation, highlighting experience at LP as examples – sharing some of the building blocks that foster a culture that supports innovation.
Angela Sebastian, Chief Executive Officer
Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC
Following a 10-year period of unprecedented growth, Butler Snow entered 2020 with a new firm Chair and an ambitious agenda. At the top of the agenda was improving organizational agility in a way that reinforced our founding principles: the first step required restructuring practice management and eliminating departments. Mere days after the restructure was approved by the firm’s executive committee, COVID-19 and economic upheaval swept the globe, followed by a series of events that would shine a bright spotlight on longstanding issues of racial strife and social injustice. Join us to discuss a case study about executing on what matters when crisis response disrupts your short-term agenda.
Paula Daniel, Practice Management Partner
Butler Snow LLP
Rance Sapen, Chief Operating Officer
Butler Snow LLP
We saw many changes drive forward in the early months of 2020 with a speed that we never thought possible. We saw entire law firms move to a remote work from home model with little to no warning. The lock down experienced by many jurisdictions created a Darwinian situation: ‘adapt or fail’. Most law firms immediately focused on ‘adapt to succeed’. The traditional law firm culture of change resistance was turned inside out as entire firms were forced to define a new model of working using digital resources, team-based online communications, and dispelling the traditional and comfortable reliance on face to face and paper-based methods. This opened a tremendous opportunity for other changes as well. It was a chance to capitalize on new priorities and new conversations like efficiency, adoption of technology, cost reduction, training, digitization. These conversations suddenly became welcomed by the different offices and practice areas at the law firm. Robin Porter is the current Head of Practice Innovation and Knowledge Management for Blakes, Cassels, Graydon LLP in Toronto, Ontario and brings 25 years as a change management consultant to how and when to introduce change initiatives within organizations. 2020 presented an opportunity to bring forward change initiatives that had often been viewed as an annoyance. It’s all about timing and perception of priorities.
Robin Porter, Head of Practice Innovation and Knowledge Management
Blakes, Cassels, Graydon LLP
In the most progressive, growth-minded firms, there is an explicitly stated expectation that each practice or industry group must develop a written strategic plan. That plan should be expected to identify specifically how the members will work together to enhance visibility, build their skills, improve client service, secure better business and develop dominance in some selected market niches. It is this last element, “building dominance” where the best innovative growth opportunities can be explored. This session is intended to provide you with a framework for working with the members of your group to identify lucrative areas of emerging opportunity, assess your group’s position relative to competitors, and develop specific action plans for capitalizing on chosen areas. Your firm’s goal should be for every practice or industry group to identify at least two to three growth opportunities that your fellow colleagues are excited to work on, with an objective of developing a dominant market position in at least one of the targeted areas.
McKenna Associates, Inc
McKenna Associates, Inc
McKenna Associates, Inc
How do we evaluate legal-services quality and value today? Relative to most industries, we would have to say that we do not. Without standard methods and metrics, how do we know we are improving, much less on the right path for the future? Medicine long ago embraced evidence-based practice and the quality movement. Meanwhile, the legal industry mostly muddles along. Technology alone cannot eliminate these problems. Given that AI and analytics depend on high-quality training data, law’s lack of empirical rigor and inattention to quality threaten progress. A quality movement and scientific thinking can help us improve legal services, legal systems, and the law itself. How might we foster the change we need to create a better future for everyone?
Daniel W. Linna Jr., Senior Lecturer & Director of Law and Technology Initiatives
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law & McCormick School of Engineering
If you’ve come to grips with the reality that (when it comes to ALSPs) you can’t kill ‘em, you’re not sure if you want to join ‘em, and your clients sure seem to be lovin’ what they do...maybe it’s time for a conversation about what’s working well for ALSPs that law firms can leverage for their own benefit. Law companies, “cost centers,” legal tech service providers and the Big Four consultancies are picking up a larger and more avid client pool, performing work that law firms used to offer exclusively, and scoring “new law” work that law firms hoped to get. Why? It’s no longer just about better pricing or speed of service; and the work being snapped up is not just the routinized or process-oriented stuff. So, what are they offering and how are they attracting and serving clients in ways that you’re not? How could better examination of their service lines, business models and talent practices provide insight into your firms’ future models or your teams’ and lawyers’ “higher use”? Whether you’d like to love ‘em or leave ‘em in the dust, you’ll want to Join Susan Hackett, CEO of Legal Executive Leadership, LLC, to discuss the topic: after offering some discussion suggestions, Susan will engage with the audience to find out what’s on your mind, what kinds of practices you’re interested in (theirs and yours), and answer questions / offer insights.
Susan Hackett, CEO
Legal Executive Leadership, LLC
In the past several years we have witnessed the rise of “Innovation Labs,” Innovation Committees and all sorts of new Innovation roles and titles within law firms. And often, the question arises, “what exactly do these people do - and what specific capabilities do they bring to their respective roles?” The word innovation itself has arguably garnered something of a stigma within the profession and among clients, likely due to its inherent ambiguity. How does an explicit focus on innovation serve law firms (and clients) within an environment that often seeks to maintain the status quo? Is innovation merely aspirational and symbolic? Is it a challenge to some of today’s commonly accepted thinking? Does it suggest risk-taking or pushing boundaries? In this lively panel discussion, we will attempt to capture and frame the essence of what this “Innovation Movement” entails—addressing perceptions and hyperbole that law firms must innovate to survive and thrive.
Monet Fauntleroy, Director of Legal Service Delivery
Patrick DiDomenico, Chief Innovation Officer
Jackson Lewis, P.C.
Nicola Shaver, Managing Director, Innovation and Knowledge
Paul Hastings LLP
Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economics professor who studies working from home, says that while his research has shown that people are 13% more productive when working from home, creativity suffers. “Home is quieter,” says Bloom. ‘The problem is - home is not very creative. And of course, working from home also negatively impacts collaboration. Yet, lawyers and law firm staff enjoy working remotely so much that 67% want to continue that arrangement once offices fully reopen following the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by a company that does leadership training for firms. This enlightening discussion will investigate:
Robert Surrette, Shareholder & President
McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.
Empathy and a good understanding of the user experience are key aspects to implementing change. In today’s law firm landscape, innovation and knowledge management teams tend to be the birthplace of change. Since technology permeates most aspects of these disciplines and it continually grows in complexity, technologists have come to play a central role in these teams. However, because change involves human judgment and emotion, mew systems must be easy to use, inconspicuous, and instructive or the user will simply "opt out". Neglecting social complexities may lead to a lack of user acceptance or adoption and a waste of time and money. In addition to technical experts, forward-looking law firms must be sure to include experts in empathy and human-centered design in their change management teams to be successful.
Rebecca Holdredge, Innovations Manager
Husch Blackwell LLP
Sarah Antonello, Content Strategy Project Manager
InnoLegal Services PLLC
This session will illustrate some of the challenges and opportunities in a law firm’s products business through a case study of Osler Dash, the first automated contracting and disclosure tool for franchisors. It will review the product’s evolution from the ideation stage, through development, pricing, launch, sale and support and the roles of firm lawyers, other law professionals, clients and vendors in that journey. Osler Dash’s launch year overlapped with the unfolding of the global pandemic, which necessarily informed its trajectory, and speaks to some of the evolution in the market for legal services and tech-based solutions.
Gillian S.G. Scott, Partner, Innovative Products
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
McKenna Associates, Inc