For the first time since 2019, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Global Institute (CGI) returned in person to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. And what a time it was! Despite the pandemic, CLOC and CGI are both bigger than ever – CLOC’s membership now tops 4,000, CGI attendance was over 2,000, its largest yet on record, and there were over 100 exhibitors.
Doing more with less has been a refrain in the legal industry for years, becoming even more urgent during the current talent war. Every year, there seems to be more work, less time, and higher pressure to get the work done efficiently and cost-effectively. But as law departments and their law firms alike struggle with finding new ways to streamline their work, the data they need to inform better strategies sits at their fingertips, unused and overlooked. Enter the need for legal analytics. Legal analytics provide the foundation for data-driven, strategic decision making, helping legal organizations advance business objectives.
The pandemic induced waves of changes throughout the legal industry that were long overdue. Perhaps the most impactful change was embracing a hybrid/remote work model that had been institutionalized by other industries long ago. Additionally, a focal point has finally been placed on work life balance. Lawyers and staff now demand the ability to have greater control over how and when they work—particularly because the pandemic proved that remote work had little to no negative impact on productivity. In fact, a recent report by Thomson Reuters found that 86% of lawyers want to work from home at least one day a week and 60% of associates said they would leave their firms for a better work life balance. The challenge facing law firms today is balancing the new hybrid work model while still meeting client demand. To do this, they must ensure their lawyers can get work done effectively and seamlessly, with ease—the key word being “ease.”
The American legal profession has had a uniform conception of a law firm’s library department and its role for several generations: great big rooms full of books and periodicals staffed by librarians responsible for making sure the firm had the most important volumes on hand for instant reference by the lawyers — or to track down what the lawyers needed if it was not on hand. The nomenclature was universal, and everyone knew the role of the department.
What started as a series of anecdotal coincidences at companies over the past year has now turned into a clearly documented phenomenon. The “Great Resignation” period is underway.
The fourth quarter of every year means lots of things to different people, but for law firm leadership teams this time of year brings with it the important — if tedious — process of establishing the firm’s budget for the year to come.
Ten years ago, we launched HBR Consulting as a new, independent organization dedicated to transforming the business of law for both law firms and corporate legal departments, building on a long legacy in legal consulting. As we celebrate HBR’s tenth anniversary, we want to thank our clients and friends in the legal industry for your continued support and inspiration, motivating much of our success during this transformative decade.
As we near the end of 2021, legal information and knowledge professionals have continued to work primarily in a remote environment. This has not only impacted how we work, but also how we network, how we learn, and how we grow as professionals.
Law firm leaders are well past the point of approving large new technology expenditures simply because they are impressed with the latest fads or afraid of missing out on a new tool that other firms are rumored to be buying. Firms are moving toward technology solutions that drive firm, business, and practice value. Innovation is taking hold. Bottom line benefits are now core to making technology decisions, and balancing scarce IT and firm resources.
Knowledge is power. This phrase, though a cliché at this point, has been embedded in our brains for as far back as we can remember. It’s what our teachers told us in school, as they attempted to inspire a drive to learn. Guess what? Those teachers were right, and nowhere is this more evident than in the legal field where those who hold the knowledge have the competitive advantage. As a law librarian, you also learn rather quickly that the underlying information, on which you build this knowledge, is enormously expensive.