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By Ryan McClead
Five or six years after the beginning of what we have come to call The New Normal, the legal blogosphere is still vociferously debating what we should do about it. The market is flat, profits are down, and the old way of doing things is unlikely to sustain many firms into the middle of this century. Most people are convinced that the model must change and almost everyone has their own pet theory about where that change should begin.
Clients must demand greater visibility and accountability from outside counsel. Firms must adopt progressive technologies and comprehensive project management techniques to achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability. There should be fewer partners and more associates, or more partners and fewer associates, or we should just replace all attorneys with software and have firms run by secretaries. Any or all of these might be true, but none of them answers the key question, what do we do first?
When it comes to change and innovation, firms tend to wait for one to set a precedent and then they all jump on the bandwagon and try to replicate their results, but each firm has its own technology, experience, capabilities, and culture. They may all be running the sam
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Ryan is the Manager of Knowledge Systems at Norton Rose Fulbright
(Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP). He has spent the last decade
advocating for and implementing, policies, procedures, and tools to
improve the flow of knowledge and information across the firm. He works
interdepartmentally to find logical and technological solutions to
problems plaguing individuals, departments, and the firm at large. Ryan
is also a regular contributor to 3 Geeks and a Law Blog at geeklawblog.com.
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