“The Streamlined Law Firms of the Future”

Jordan Furlong advises law firms to anticipate “the leaner and more streamlined law firms of the future,” which he says

will be built around systems, processes and technology, where most “associate” work will be done by freelance, project or foreign lawyers (or computers) and many partners will be pricing their work on a non-hourly basis. Key personnel skills will include management (of both processes and people), collaboration, and client communications.

He asks then how this should affect hiring. He says management, collaboration and client communications are key skills for lawyers. Yep. So: Hire team players. Don’t hire jerks. And: The best lawyers are good communicators.

Mid-sized law firms look unlikely to succeed “built around systems, processes and technology.” Aren’t large firms and mono-line firms more likely to win at that? Mid-sized firms must be problem-solvers, not processors.

The good news is that the kinds of organizations that solve problems are more likely to be more attractive and satisfying places to work than the ones that run systems and processes – if they keep their focus. And, if they don’t hire jerks.

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