The Legal Futures Conference, October 28-29 in Chicago

I have the good fortune to be a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, a group of highly esteemed and accomplished professionals who have spent their lifetimes improving law practice in a myriad of ways.  My own humble efforts in this arena were recognized some years ago when I was nominated and inducted into this group.  For me, a high point of my year is attending the College's annual conference where I can attend riveting discussions delivered by people I admire, and on occasion deliver some of my own remarks to the group on issues of the day. This year's conference is shaping up to be an inspiring event, as the list of profound topics and worthy speakers is unparalleled.  Titled "2011 Futures Conference: Challenging the Law Practice Model" with a special symposium on "Defining Value in Value Billing," I submit the following examples of the extraordinary content to be discussed:

What is the Future of Price: Defining Value in Value Billing with Ron Staudt, Toby Brown, Paul Lippe and Ellen Rosenthal

Disruptive Technologies/Innovative Thinking with Marc Lauritsen, Richard Granat, Maura Grossman and Kingsley Martin

Law Practice Without Borders with Jordan Furlong, Simon Chester, BieBie Que and Pam Woldow

Future View: Do You See What I See? with Sally Fiona King, Ross Fishman, Dave Hambourger, Chris Murray, Chris Petrini-Poll

Innovation, with Velocity with Tom Clay, Raymond Bayley

Finally, I will be presenting along with several esteemed colleagues.  Session moderator Ron Friedmann describes the session as follows:

Law Factories vs. “Bet the Farm” Firms Will law firms of the future need to segment clients in new ways? Might some firms focus on “industrialized” practices: hyper-efficient work using automation and low cost resources? Might others focus on “bet the farm” cases using mainly top legal talent? Or do we need to focus on the “bread and butter legal work” middle ground? If the market segments, will it do so by practice, by firm, by matter type or along some other dimension?

Toby Brown, Vinson & Elkins; Timothy B. Corcoran, Hubbard One; and Mark Robertson, Robertson & Williams, join me to lead a highly interactive session. Each of us will kick-off the session with a maximum 2-minute intro. We will organize and facilitate break-out discussions around a series of questions, including:

  • What does it mean to industrialize law practice
  • Can a single firm play both ends of the spectrum (factory and farm)?
  • How big is the middle “bread and butter” segment and can this be industrialized?
  • What large firm practices have industrial elements
  • What consumer practices have industrial elements
  • If paradigm is true, what are the implications for marketing. For professional development? For ethical compliance?
  • Should law school teach lean six sigma, process mapping, or industrial engineering?
  • Alternative service providers - cause or effect?

If you don't recognize the speaker names above, then you aren't paying very close attention to the colossal systemic and sustainable changes being wrought in the global legal services marketplace today.  Google any one of the names and you're bound to learn something.  Better yet, attend the conference and learn from all of them.  The conference is intended for law firm leaders, managing partners, executive directors, chief marketing officers, directors of professional development, law school deans and anyone else interested in the future of the business of law.

This year's Legal Futures Conference will take place in Chicago on October 28th and 29th, and is presented by the College of Law Practice Management in conjunction with the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.  For more details about the conference, click here.  To register, click here.

I hope to see you there!