Welcome to The Dialogue

The Dialogue provides a forum for those invested in BigLaw firms to add their voices to the remaking conversation.

We encourage lawyers and others with a stake in the profession: clients, partners, and leaders of BigLaw firms, NewLaw participants, academics, law students, analysts, commentators, and others to join in.

There are no right or wrong views, diversity and differences are crucial to imagining the future.

Readers are invited to contribute their posts (subject to curation)  and comments.

Contact me at george.beaton@beatonglobal.com or call me +61 418 325 351.

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Break the law firm business model

Today we re-publish Break the law firm business model, Jordan’s Furlong’s inaugural post on the blog of the ABA’s Center for Innovation, on the Advisory Board of which Jordan serves. He starts by quoting what is becoming an apocryphal statement by Neota Logic founder Michael Mills“Innovation destroys hours” and goes on to say those three words in a 2014 blog post summarize the fundamental challenge that every law firm faces today. They reflect two market realities that are inherently incompatible with each other.

Since I published Remaking Law Firms: Why & How in 2016 (ABA) the realisation that the business model of BigLaw firms is their Achilles heel has been gathering momentum. Jordan concludes this post by addressing BigLaw leaders and owners: “You’re going to have to change your law firm’s business model eventually”; read on to understand the logic of his argument.

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Remaking the news of the week: Episode 2

Today’s Remaking the news of the week post is on the old chestnut and increasingly thorny topic of equity profit-sharing.

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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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Insights from the latest buying legal services survey

Written by Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein – Executive Director of the Buying Legal Council – today’s post is based on key insights from the latest buying legal services survey [1]. In the spirit of Jeff Carr’s recent letter reproduced on The Dialogue to outside counsel on delivering value with integrity, Silvia uses two emails, one from a CFO to the Legal Department, and the other from the CMO of a major law firm on the panel to the Head of the Corporate Practice.

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New Book: What’s Your Digital Business Model?

Today I am unabashedly recommending What’s Your Digital Business Model?, a new book by Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner. Chairman and Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, Peter is regarded as the leading researcher and thinker in this space – and he is also my friend and former colleague at Melbourne Business School.

Watch the video, buy What’s Your Digital Business Model and accelerate your organization’s digital journey.

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