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    Archive for September, 2011
    Virtual Practice..Coming Up Short? or What is the Message?
    Friday, September 23rd, 2011

    ♬ …I care for you… I’m there 
    … I’m there for you…I care… 

    Lyrics, music and recorded by Wolfsheim.

    Care Bear

    Jay Fleischman in a blog post entitled: “Is the Virtual Law Firm Model Coming up Short?” opines that lawyers practising in a virtual practice are ‘missing an ingredient’. Mr. Fleischman continues:

    Those who offer the virtual law firm are selling something most people don’t want.  People want to be able to make a personal connection with other people, to build trust in a lawyer’s expertise.  They don’t want to be met with a password-encrypted firewall and triple-redundant backup systems.

    Mr. Fleischman and I agree on at least one point thou:  it isn’t about the technology.  Most certainly!

    But with respect, we differ on where to take it from there. In Mr. Fleischman’s view:

    You need to figure out how to connect with people who are not necessarily in front of you.  In fact, you’ve got to determine when being face-to-face is best for the client.

    Yes, but … that is only part of the picture.  In my view, Mr. Fleischman fails to take his argument to its logical conclusion. Why would face-to-face be best for (some) clients?  Not because “people want to make a personal connection” (per Mr. Fleischman) but because they have to know – trust – feel – that you care. (more…)

    Posted in Adding Value, Business Development, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 3 Comments »
    Why Stay in Law School? Advice to Law Students
    Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

    I’d rather be a hammer than a nail
    Yes, I would if I only could, I surely would…

    Lyrics and Music by Daniel Alomía Robles, recorded by Simon and Garfunkel.

    Pitt Law


    I have just returned from an invitation from Anthony C. Infanti, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Pittsburgh School of Law  and Keeley P. Mitchell, Esq, 
Director of Public Interest and Government Relations at Pitt Law, to participate in a panel for the University of Pittsburgh 2nd year law students on legal career prospects.  In my humble opinion, this discussion attempted to answer the question: “Why stay in Law School, given the current economic climate?” Accordingly, I thought I would write down my thoughts on why the current cohort of students should consider staying in law, doing my best to also include and summarize the comments of the other panel members (any misquotes or errors are mine, not those of the respective learned panel members!).  In addition to the Associate Dean Anthony C. Infanti, who moderated the discussion and your humble scribe, the panel consisted of:

    • Robert Denney, the President of Robert Denney Associates, Inc.,
    • Michael Ginsberg, a Partner in the Trial Practice of Jones Day,
    • Erin M. Lucas, an associate Manion McDonough & Lucas, P.C. and the President of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division,
    • Catherine Martin, a managing attorney for Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh, PA.,
    • Gabriel Reis, an in-house attorney for Alcoa Inc. and
    • Mark Vouno, the ACBA President-Elect and  a partner in Vuono & Gray, LLC.

    First, a career in law offers you not just a job – it offers you much more.  Your legal career has the possibility of working on novel and fascinating work that continually changes and brings you in touch with bright and interesting people.  You learn about new things all the time.  It is an intellectual exercise that can captivate your skills, your intellectual faculties and can result in achieving some real and meaningful results for people – and allows you to be,  in every respect of the word, a legal professional and not someone who just has a legal job. (more…)

    Posted in Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 7 Comments »