The Transformational Power Of Law Firm Ownership

The Transformational Power Of Law Firm Ownership – When I opened my law firm as a 20-year-old straight out of law school, I invited a partner who worked at the law firm where I longed to work to lunch. Of course, when he had hit the pavement for work only a few months earlier, he would never have had the courage to call a law firm partner on the phone. But now, as a partner in my fledgling law firm, I was preparing to present my first case in the D.C. District. and I thought this partner could help me strategize because one of his clients would be affected by the outcome of the case. We talked business over lunch (I was surprised to learn that this partner, fifteen years my senior, had never argued a case in the D.C. district), and then I authoritatively swiped my new law firm credit card to pay the bill.

Leaving lunch, I realized that if I had been hired by that partner’s law firm, we would never have broken bread together. Instead, I would be the underling, mired in legal research over lunch, and he would be my master, enjoying a martini (that’s how it worked in the past). But the property suited us.

The Transformational Power Of Law Firm Ownership

And that, my friends, is the power of ownership: it is transformative. Ownership can turn a once-unemployed associate into a lunch-with-a-colleague boss. Ownership can turn poor, unemployed law school graduates into professionals with six-figure law firms. Ownership can transform solo and small business attorneys into elected judges. Ownership can transform ordinary lawyers into agents of change for the legal profession.

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To this day, most law schools and lawyers consider starting a law firm an act of desperation, the last thing anyone should do. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The very act of assuming office is a bold and optimistic move that will make your future a reality. Join the movement. You will never regret it.

← 2019 Clio Trend Report: Is the 2.5 hour completion rate as bad as it sounds? Another day, another directory for lawyers → The first in this two-part series examines how and why legal change results from business digital transformation. The second segment talks about the transition of the legal function from a place of cost to a creator of value and how to quantify its value.

Changing the legal industry is more of a business story than a legal one. Legal is a label for an epic business paradigm shift that is bigger than any individual, business function, profession, industry or society. It is a tectonic shift in the way we live, work and exchange goods and services. This process is called digital transformation.

To understand the changes taking place in the legal industry, you need to appreciate the digital transformation of the business and its unwavering customer focus. Legal changes arise from, are shaped by, the business digital imperative and include the alignment of legal with business goals and their integration with other business functions. The goal is to extract a greater impact on business and clients from the legal function.

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Digital transformation has fundamentally changed business and its relationship with customers and society. It is a process of continuous change and multidimensional reinvention, embedded throughout the enterprise, designed to improve the end-to-end customer experience. Customers are your focus, and their satisfaction is the primary goal of the company-wide reverse engineering process.

Digital transformation is enabled by technology, driven by human imagination, experimentation with data and adaptation (change management). These elements are interrelated and essential to enjoy the benefits of “going digital”.

There is a common misconception, especially in the legal industry, that digital transformation and technology are synonymous. Big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and resource/workflow management are drivers and backbone of digital transformation. At the center are focus on the user, new organizational structures and economic models, data, multidisciplinary, agile and fluid staff and constant training.

Digital transformation is based on alignment and integration. Alignment is about shared purpose, cultural values, metrics and goals. It is supported by a common mindset, language, metrics, processes and service orientation. Aligned companies are guided by a corporate compass that points their direction. Even when a course correction is needed, the company acts in concert to follow it.

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Alignment occurs at the individual, team, functional (including strategic partners and supply chain), company, and customer levels. Digitally advanced companies are not only aligned internally but also with clients. The goal is to create a long-term relationship of trust between the company and customers.

Integration is teamwork. Integrated companies build an agile, fluid, curious and collaborative workforce that works seamlessly and functionally. Traditional closed departmental paradigms are being replaced by flexible paradigms designed to proactively and holistically address challenges and capture opportunities that require diverse perspectives, skill sets, and experience. It gives them access to tangible data that, like talent and technology, is shared across business functions. This promotes better-informed, creative, rapid and holistic responses to complex business challenges and time-sensitive opportunities.

Digitally mature companies are those whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Digital transformation is a team sport.

Digital businesses leverage flexible organizational structures, capital, investments, talent, tools, processes, data and strategic partnerships to create more efficient, effective, affordable, transparent and risk-reduced ways of doing business. They provide users with easy access, choice, voice, transparency, self-help tools, data and a high level of service. Digital companies are not focused on innovation per se, but on new ways of doing things that produce measurable value and a better customer experience.

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Digital transformation is neither an easy nor a quick process. Despite the hard work involved, companies realized years ago that the digital journey is an existential imperative. Covid-19 has profoundly accelerated the speed of digital transformation. Microsoft

CEO Satya Madella commented during a recent quarterly earnings call that “we’ve seen two years of digital transformation in two months.”

The incredible speed of digital business transformation has widened the gap that separates digitally advanced companies (as well as people and functions) from the rest. Digitally mature companies outperform their peers in all significant business indicators. Digital laggards are not only becoming less competitive, they are also facing extinction. The same can be said for individuals; those who are “digitally aware” are in high demand. Digital ignorance is a ticket to redundancy.

The greatest danger of the digital transformation journey is not embarking on it. This applies not only to companies, but also to individuals and business functions, including the law.

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The legal function is a digital backlog. It is a traveler in its own process of change; work is the driver. There are many interrelated reasons for this, including: legal culture, indoctrination, training, and arrogance. The lack of financial pressure from customers could be added to the list, although this is also changing.

For too long, the legal profession has operated by its own rules, dictating the terms of its engagement with clients, using self-regulation to maintain ownership control and avoid competition, and unilaterally determining what is “legal” (ie, requiring lawyers). Lawyers adhered to precedent rather than deliberate experimentation. They are trained to avoid mistakes, not to be creative. They were implanted with the myth of legal exceptionalism that divides the world into “lawyers and ‘non-lawyers’.” This ethos is professionally calcified. It is hostile to the fluid, agile and collaborative “connect the dots” mindset required of the digital workforce.

Left to its own devices, the legal profession has shown little inclination to change. That’s why he took the job. You redesign a fit-for-purpose legal function that is aligned with business goals, customer-centric, and integrated with other business functions.

Digital business has reshaped the purpose, role and mandate of the legal function. He hopes that the legal system will not only seamlessly merge the practice and business of law, but also align this integrated legal delivery capability with corporate purpose. The goal and key performance metric is the creation of business value and improved end-to-end customer experience. This topic will be further covered in the following article.

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Aligning the law with business goes far beyond adopting a corporate purpose. It also requires the legal function to speak the language of the business, work at its own pace, make holistic recommendations backed by data, engage in 360-degree risk assessment (not just legal), be proactive, use its institutional knowledge, experience and skills and share them with other business stakeholders, adopt business metrics, produce business value and improve user experience. Legal has long been a business. Now, the company expects it to function as such. This means, among other things, that the legal function will be transformed from a cost sheet to a value creator.

How can the digital divide be legally bridged? Spoiler alert: the company isn’t waiting for the law to solve it. It does away with the legal digital pass and requires the legal department to adhere to the same metrics, processes, accountability and value creation as other business units.

Executive departments and boards, faced with breakneck pace, complexity, new risks, wars for talent and competitive business threats, require more than the legal function. They see their untapped potential to create value and improve customer experience and recognize that this will not be achieved without alignment/integration of legal and business.

The legal change does not

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