One of my favorite summer camp activities used to be making a lanyard – weaving together colored cording to create an accessory I could proudly display. Here, I attempt to weave together some of the cords from PLLIP’s recent Virtual Summit – Transformation 2020 and AALL’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.
It has only been a few months since the thought of working anywhere was a fantasy reserved mostly for freelancers. We have all seen those ads showing lucky people working on the beach with their laptop, no stress, and a perfect work/life balance. No one could have imagined we would be faced with a global pandemic and, ultimately, the necessity to find a way to work remotely or not work at all.
Nearly four months have passed since COVID-19 changed the way we work. Legal organizations that initially focused on operationalizing their remote workforce and managing costs associated with temporary office closures are now facing the reality that, rather than a temporary situation, the pandemic-related changes may be deeper and have longer lasting impacts than initially contemplated. From HBR’s perspective as longstanding advisors to both law firms and law departments, this is a defining moment for the legal industry. To successfully differentiate themselves, organizations must seize and sustain the moment to pull the future forward, unlocking value and accelerating the legal industry’s evolution.
Though none of us are having the summer we expected, that doesn’t mean we stop transforming, growing and innovating. So, HBR decided to create a Summer Camp of learning through this blog post series, summarizing some of the industry events in which we are participating.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought unforeseen changes on many fronts, and law firms will never be the same. During the pandemic, firms have been learning important lessons about how to accommodate—and even thrive with—virtual work, how to reevaluate their legal service delivery and real estate footprint, and how to reallocate tasks to maximize their efficiency.
Traditionally, the legal industry has been reluctant to implement change; after all, lawyers adhere to a case law system built on hundreds of years of case precedent. To say that the industry has been plagued by change gridlock is an understatement.
For companies still conducting business remotely, the days leading up to the July 1 enforcement date for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will be busy -- putting in place essential elements to comply with the country’s most comprehensive privacy law and trying to anticipate amendments to come. We have written elsewhere about privacy data maps, typically manifest as tables detailing the information a company possesses and the path it travels through various systems before landing in its final storage location. But little attention has been paid to the data map’s counterpart: a company’s records retention schedule. While tools like a data map are important elements of successful CCPA compliance, an important preliminary step is to make sure your business has a strong foundation in place, including a functional records retention schedule.
Recently, we have witnessed the shocking killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, as the most recent examples in a long list of continued acts of racism and injustice against the Black community. While these tragedies have grabbed headlines, they are not isolated incidents; rather, they are part of a long history of violence against Black communities and a broader issue of systemic racism. HBR denounces racism in all forms and we commit to increase our efforts to drive change within HBR and in our communities.
The same angst many companies experienced as the effective date for the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) approached is resurging again as they prepare for the July 1 enforcement date. The Office of the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra estimates that compliance with the CCPA could cost businesses as much as $16 billion over the next 10 years. The Act is intentionally vague when it comes to how companies should operationalize requirements described in the law, allowing businesses to account for their unique resources and limitations. Some organizations may be tempted to pause in their preparations while California awaits the fate of the proposed California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”). If the CPRA is ultimately included on the California November 2020 ballot, voters will likely support the expanded law, although it will not take effect until January 1, 2023. Regardless of what happens in November, it is important to focus on compliance with the existing law now. One...
Due to pandemic-related disruption, the legal industry is bracing for a sustained downturn. HBR Consulting and The Managing Partner Forum recently conducted a poll of 75 mid-sized firms (<500 lawyers). Responses revealed that more than 60% of respondents are forecasting up to a 25% decrease in top line revenue for 2020. Fewer than 5% of polled firms are predicting no revenue loss at all. This begs the question, what can firms do now to adjust pre-existing 2020 plans to weather this unprecedented storm and, if possible, emerge stronger on the other side