How to get buy-in from practicing lawyers for efficiency changes
One of the challenges to implementing efficiency changes in a law firm is getting buy-in from the practicing lawyers. Practice group leadership may be on board because they more readily "get it" (or at least some do). The question is, how does one reach the practicing lawyers?
One technique is to show that other firms are already doing it. This has two favorable effects. First, it allows the lawyers to better visualize the result, leading to greater acceptance. Second, it energizes their competitiveness, also leading to acceptance.
Free ABA webinar series addresses that problem
The new ABA Practice Smarter webinar series is designed for this purpose. Produced by lawyers, for lawyers, over 30-minute monthly sessions, the webinars first lay out the business case for efficiency improvements, then provide advice on how to accomplish these improvements. The needs of large law firms are specifically addressed. The advice starts with easy steps an individual lawyer can take. Next it surveys other steps, which may require cooperation of colleagues but can pay off big. The series also addresses the personality and organizational challenges to effecting change, and how to overcome them. Deeper dives into specific efficiency projects will follow. I chair the ABA Knowledge Strategy Group that is producing the series.
Share the webinars with your practicing lawyers
I urge you to share this blog post with the practicing lawyers in your firm and ask that they carve out 30 minutes to listen, either live or to the recording. Doing so will not only help persuade them that efficiency improvements are necessary and achievable, but will also help them persuade their colleagues.
The first 30-minute webinar, presenting the business case for efficiency improvements, also referred to as knowledge strategy, was held on Jan. 28. Panelists were Delilah Flaum, partner at Winston & Strawn LLP and Mary Vandenack, partner at Williams Vandenack LLC. I moderated. The replay and slides may be accessed here.
Sign up for Feb. 25
The second webinar will be held Thurs., Feb. 25 at 12:00 Noon, Eastern (30 minutes). It discusses several practical steps an individual lawyer can take now to improve efficiency, and that do not require involvement by colleagues. The title of the webinar is "How to Compete with IBM Watson JD: Future-proof your practice by improving efficiency now - Part 2". Panelists will be Kenneth Bender, partner at Paul Hastings LLP, and Marc Lauritsen, President of Capstone Practice Systems and author of The Lawyer's Guide to Working Smarter with Knowledge Tools. Aileen Leventon, President of QLex Consulting Inc., will moderate. Registration is here.
Outline of webinar series
Below is a summary of the first 7 months of the webinar series:
- Business case for improving efficiency - Jan. 28 [recording available]
- Survey of practical efficiency improvements an individual lawyer can implement - Feb. 25
- Survey of more advanced efficiency improvements - Mar. 24
- How to decide where to start with efficiency improvements at you firm - Apr. 28
- In-depth discussion of checklists for lawyers - May 26
- In-depth discussion of the key technique for organizing your work product - June 30
- How to overcome behavioral issues in accomplishing efficiency projects - July 28
Additional monthly webinars will be added.
[Photo credits: (c) siraanamwong / www.fotosearch.com Stock Photography]