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First to Be Second

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How I feel about “The New Normal” often depends on whom I’ve spoken to last.   There are folks out there who are extremely excited by the progress and opportunities that many lawyers, law firms and legal departments are seizing in re-thinking or starting the process of transforming their practice to focus less on hours and “quality,” and more time on providing client value and solutions to client problems.   There are just as many folks out there who remain skeptical, or who suggest that the progress to date is so modest, it implies very little commitment or interest to changing long-held behaviors.  Both are right, and thus, so goes my outlook.

In discussing these issues for years with Paul Lippe, and many of the excellent contributors to LOR, it seems clear that continuing progress must be pushed forward; we can’t afford to sit back and assume that folks will make the monumental effort to change the way that they do their work without successful models to replicate, or without tangible rewards for their efforts.   So this new column is dedicated to that principle:

 We believe that most lawyers are not interested in innovation because they wish to drive it – they are interested in innovation when it is demonstrable that it will benefit them or their clients.  Thus, we believe that most lawyers would prefer to be “first to be second” – they wish to distinguish themselves with superior service based on the best value practices available, but only after someone else has established that the path of that practice leads to a successful outcome.  They want to learn from and be comforted by the fact that others have tried this before and it works.

So here we begin:  on these pages, we’d like to share (with you and from you) stories about what’s working, and to the extent that it advances our knowledge and better practices, what’s not working.  All with the hope that our colleagues and collaborators will thereby be more empowered to be the first to be second.   Since clients benefit either way, I’m all in favor of promoting the power of better practices - however we get them done!
Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:34 )  

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