Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
With over 30 practice areas, we have all bases covered. Find out how we can help
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Regulatory, business information and analytics solutions that help professionals make better decisions
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Printer Friendly Version
A key insight that came out of the People team’s session was the importance of knowing what skills law firm has and – importantly – where they can be found.
Finding and documenting this information was important for a number of reasons, including:
The team brainstormed a list of skills/characteristics to focus on and proceeded to map these out on the basis of whether they were:
This was captured as a matrix with four quadrants, divided as follows: senior (upper quadrants); junior (lower quadrants); legal (left-hand side quadrants); and non-legal (right-hand side quadrants) – and this was the result:
If (for the sake of clarity) we tabulate the key skills/characteristics and where they were placed on that matrix, we get the following:
It is interesting to note that the skills were identified as being very evenly distributed between senior and junior personnel and between the legal and non-legal parts of a typical law firm.
At the same time, it is probably fair to say that this placement of particular skills/characteristics reflects a fairly ‘conventional’ view of the split between senior and junior and legal and non-legal. For instance, ‘leadership’
was very much seen as a ‘senior’ skill and it was felt that more junior employees would have the freshest views and the most enthusiasm.
But are things really that simple?
The overall theme for the event was innovation and if law firms and the industry at large are to start/continue innovating, won’t some of these skills and characteristics be distributed differently?
Here are some of the areas we thought about, after the event.
Project Management was identified as being split across legal and non-legal functions, with senior lawyers engaging in ‘ad hoc’ project management and more junior non-legal staff having the skills in technical project management.
As ‘legal project management’ continues to mature into a distinct occupation in its own right, ‘ad hoc’ project management by lawyers should continue to decrease. At the same time, the amount and perceived importance of technical
project management by non-legal staff is likely to increase, potentially resulting in such skills residing at an increasingly senior level within law firms.
Mentoring was viewed as still typically senior to junior but mentorship can and should happen (and increasingly is happening) in all and any directions (including between peers).
Leadership skills were identified as sitting with the more senior members of a firm – both legal and non-legal.
However, if law firms adopt more modern working practices (such as working in ‘agile’ project-specific teams based on getting the right mix of skills and experience) and against a background of an ever-increasing need for efficiency, looking
to senior staff to lead all projects/teams makes little sense – both in terms of productivity and profitability.
Innovation was placed on both sides of the legal/non-legal divide, somewhere in the middle in terms of seniority. As the wider findings of the three sessions (people, process and technology) demonstrated, innovation will need to be at the heart of almost
everything law firms do – particularly in the short/medium term.
As such, an aptitude and appetite for innovation should arguably be given (at least) equal weight as more ‘obvious’ qualifications (e.g. a 2:1/1st class degree in law) when recruiting.
Introduction and overview: Legal Design Jams - 9x more productive than Jack Bauer
Overview of the Legal Service Design Jam process: 'Jamming' - the way forward for legal service design?
Reports exploring the output from the three teams of 'jammers':
Report 1: People
Report 2: Process
Report 3: Technology
0330 161 1234