Here we go again….a new year and predictions of what to tend to as we move through 2018. Consider 6 months from now, what will you have accomplished? What will you tend to? Start now, educate yourselves, and get ready…
here we go!

  1. Artificial Intelligence. Imagine having a personal assistant that knows what you want it to know, holds a collection of your experiences at the top of their mind, and continues to learn with each interaction. Now you have a glimpse of the power of artificial intelligence, and how knowledge workers (service industry) will be impacted. Thomson Reuters has a great article on this topic.
  2. Metrics. Expect more and more opportunities to measure data points, to generate metrics that can be improved, set goals to achieve, and drive performance. Law is a business, and the day has arrived to start measuring key metrics that will allow firm growth, and client satisfaction.
  3. Change Management. No more ducking and dodging the speeding train that has pulled the industry into moving away from the practice of law and into the business of law. Understanding change is the beginning. Embracing opportunities to advance your culture into collaborative and team structures is one step.
  4. Team. This is the year where firms recognize the benefit of team service for clients. How to build the teams, what roles team members have, and the measures of success will distinguish the successful firms.
  5. Training. Leading in all businesses requires ongoing learning in an interactive environment. The legal industry has long sat on the CLE contents for learning and growth, and as the business mindset continues to emerge, training is pivotal. Training leaders, training teams, and training client service are the top 3.
  6. Project Management. While this has been creeping into the industry for the last few years, expect critical mass in mid-size and larger firms. The necessity of efficiency for client service that provides value pricing will drive project managers into the legal setting.
  7. People. Retention of a population looking for advancement dictates attention to flexibility and alternative working paths. Clients driving price through electronic billing (and resulting measure of efficiency) require extraordinary service, which must be taught, it’s not inherent.
  8. And finally… Price. Measuring realization at the matter level may be old hat to you – but have you done anything to transition to flat fee or value pricing now that you know what you realize? It’s time to attend to the value you and your team bring to the table, and use your metrics to demonstrate this to your clients.

I’d love to hear what you see on the horizon. Please join our Leaders’ Lab conversations to gather with other legal professionals and brainstorm/share ideas that will help you and your firm.


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About the Author

Judy Hissong
Judy Hissong, CLM, is the President of Nesso Strategies. Nesso is the Italian word for connection, and her company is built on the passion of human potential and bottom line improvement. She writes, speaks, trains, and coaches on leadership, wellness, workplace engagement, and communication and conflict skills. Find her on twitter @judyhissong; email; phone 619.546.7885; and join her LinkedIn Group “Engaging Legal Leaders” for more conversation about leadership in law firms.