The number-one law firm IT challenge heading into 2019 had nothing to do with acquiring bigger servers or faster networks. The top law firm IT issue for this year was the strategic challenge of change management, according to the International Legal Technology’s Association 2018 Legal Technology Survey.
It was wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones at the recent Corporate Legal Operations (CLOC) Institute in Las Vegas, and to participate in the knowledge-sharing that is the event’s hallmark.
HBR and GLG Law (Gerson Lehrman Group, Inc.) recently co-hosted their first education session on Vendor Risk Management in New York City. This session was part of a quarterly series to provide expert insights into topics that are front-of-mind among legal procurement leaders. HBR’s partnership with GLG, a platform connecting professionals to expert insights, ensures the sessions deliver information from industry-leading sources.
The gig economy is upon us; there is no turning back now. As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, the gig economy is “a way of working that is based on people having temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately, rather than working for an employer.”
After a slow start to embrace the idea of using a “hosted” model for managing software applications and client data, law firms have accelerated their adoption of this model in recent years. More than 54% of lawyers reported using a cloud platform last year to host client data, according to the American Bar Association’s 2018 Technology Survey.
Although the predicted time frame varies, most business economists suggest that a recession is on the horizon within the next two years, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics released in late February. At the end of the year, many CFOs were predicting recession in the U.S. by the end of this year, and The World Bank lowered its projections for global growth in its ominously titled January report, “Darkening Skies.” We cannot predict when or whether a downturn will occur, but we know from experience that those who maximize their operational efficiency are better prepared to succeed, regardless of the economic situation.
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor delayed travel could keep the recent 13th annual 2019 Ark Group's Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library, Research & Information Services conference sponsored by HBR Consulting from being a well-attended and content-rich event!
We recently published a whitepaper, “The Edge Effect of the Legal Ecosystem,” comparing corporate law departments’ and law firms’ roles in the legal ecosystem to adjoining ecological habitats. In ecology, the term “edge effect” refers to the boundary of two or more different habitats, where scientists find greater diversity of life, including unique species that are specially adapted to the conditions of the zone where the two habitats come together. Similarly, in their respective legal habitats today’s corporate law departments and law firms face different market pressures and have different resulting needs. Law departments are seeing an increased demand for legal services without associated budget growth, a heightened focus on risk management and cybersecurity, and an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Law firms face increasing competition for legal work, changing client relationships, and a tight market for strong talent. These respective pressures conflict in many...
The emerging law firm strategy of moving to a managed IT services model — in which an expert services provider assumes responsibility for the firm’s IT systems and operations — is gaining traction as we head into 2019. This model enables law firms to turn over their day-to-day IT infrastructure support requirements to an outside company that is able to deliver these services at a lower cost and with greater efficiency. As a result, the firms can reassign their full-time IT staff members toward higher value functions that propel the business, rather than worrying about who is making sure the systems are running and the data is secure.
The Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption (SOLID) held in London on November 7 provided a view into the rate of transformation, primarily from the lens of the UK and Europe. The action-packed, daylong event included 15 TED-style talks and “fireside chats” (sans the fire), along with brainstorming sessions among the participants. SOLID London 2018 was produced by The Cowen Group in association with Baker McKenzie. HBR Consulting was one of several partnership sponsors. The aim of each Summit is to gather legal professionals for an exchange of ideas about the intersection of innovation, advanced technology and the business of law. Most of the attendees and speakers at the London forum were EMEA-based corporate counsel, providing a unique view into innovation in law departments outside the United States.