June 21, 2011

The Director’s Desk

A little more than a year ago, I joined the staff here at the ABA. In retrospect, it has been a year of challenges and exciting changes. Just like the rest of you, we’ve kept our eye on the bottom line and are working hard to deal with that old conundrum–do more with less.

The LPM Section has been working diligently to maintain the high quality and variety of resources on which our members have come to rely and to provide practical, relevant programs to help them build their practices and enhance their skills.

Toward these goals, our LPM Membership Committee has completed a series of initiatives to spur membership recruitment and strengthen retention. In addition, we have reached out to new solo members; managing partners of firms nationwide; state and local bar members; and attorneys from the Young Lawyer’s Division. We are energetically focused on membership and continue to communicate our value in as many venues as possible.

ABA TECHSHOW’s phenomenal success in April calls for kudos to the 2011 Planning Board. The 25th anniversary had so many memorable moments that it is impossible to share them all, but here are some highlights.

  • Lawrence Lessig delivered the keynote address to a standing-room-only audience. Professor Lessig, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, spoke on the “Code of Law.” He discussed our constantly evolving technology and its impact on the legal profession, thus providing his audience with much to think about.

  • Fran Musselman, former Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy managing partner and a technology pioneer in the legal community, helped Paul Unger, TECHSHOW Board Chair, welcome attendees, speakers and staff to the conference. He spoke about his firm’s early role in the 1960s, when it changed Wall Street forever by introducing computers.

  • Throughout the conference, people from the LPM Section’s past and present reminisced about the myriad changes in law firm technology. Among the program topics were “Cloud Computing,” “SmartPhones” and “Paperless Offices.” The conference has a national reputation as the premier legal technology education platform and it did not disappoint!

Evolving Business Model Task Force
Recognizing the need to focus on the changes in the practice of law and its effect on so many lawyers, the Evolving Business Model Task Force was formed this past year. Its goal is to examine how business models are changing and how these changes will influence the organizational architecture of law firms, lawyers’ compensation, the job market for new lawyers and the legal service delivery process. This summer, the task force will present a program on these issues at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario. In addition, it will create a Web presence featuring these same issues to better disseminate this information.

Law Practice Today
For well over a year now, LPM’s monthly webzine, Law Practice Today, has been among the top 10 visited Web pages on the site. This is a resounding indicator that proves what we in LPM already know: Our resources are valuable and highly sought after by members. We welcome your open input on other ways we might serve you!

To learn more about LPM’s activities, please contact any LPM staff member, including me, at www.lawpractice.org.