Why the economics of free agency should worry partners

Some years ago, during a conference of BigLaw leaders in Chicago, I came to understand why the economics of free agency should worry partners in BigLaw firms. Until then I had not paid full attention to the free agent phenomenon.

David Parnell opens his book on The Failing Law Firm with an exposition of the adverse impact of free agents on that American religion, baseball. With David Goener, I updated the analysis of why law firms fail in this October 2017 post.

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Remaking the news of the week: Episode 1

Remaking the news of the week is a new feature on The Dialogue. Each week I will write circa 100 words why the chosen item is, in my opinion, newsworthy in a Remaking Law Firms context.

Appropriately Remaking the news of the week kicks off citing Bob Ambrogi‘s report in Above the Law on three BigLaw firms that are variously pioneering and supporting lawtech startups.

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From our new contributor, Jae Um: The Empire Strikes Back

With a fresh emoji-backed approach, Jae Um makes her first contribution to The Dialogue, The Empire Strikes Back 💥and 2017 Is (Mostly) a 🎉Win 🎉for Am Law 100. Jae says of herself, “I’m generally on a mission to make things make sense and also sparkle. My current tour of duty is data + design to inform strategy in legal markets“. Welcome Jae.

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De-equitization is the elephant in the room in BigLaw’s profit distribution

The annual ritual of the release of the Am Law 100 financial results is playing again. In 1979 Steven Brill launched American Lawyer and brilliantly used the Am Law 100 league table as a marketing tool. In doing so Steven allowed elephants into the room. In this post, I (re)make a few comments on the merits and dangers of league tables, making the point that de-equitization is the elephant in the room in BigLaw’s profit distribution.
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Legal transformation requires (a lot) more than tech

Mark Cohen contributes Legal transformation requires (a lot) more than tech, adding to Ken Grady‘s recent contributions. I admit to exercising editorial prerogative and adding (a lot) to Mark’s title. I did so based on research my consultancy released earlier this month: Client-led innovation in legal services. One stunning statistic from the report justified (a lot): When clients are asked what comes first to mind when thinking about innovation and legal services, only 15% answer ‘technology’.

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Who is responsible for the future of BigLaw firms?

Who is responsible for the future of BigLaw firms? discusses one the biggest challenges facing BigLaw firms: Investing in the future.

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