Law firms are businesses. Businesses should have the goal of being profitable. The September/October 2016 issue of Law Practice Magazine is the annual finance issue. The cover story is Increasing Law Firm Profitability by Instilling Values by Katy Goshtasbi. This is a well-written “must read” piece which takes a bit of a different look at law firm profitability. Other articles include law firm budgeting, tips for getting paid ethically, alternative fee billing, managing debt for the new lawyer, creating a positive client experience and changes in banking relationships.
Every Law Firm Is a Technology Business is the title of my column on practice management advice in this issue. This column was actually inspired by the Wall Street Journal as I noted in the opening paragraph:
In early 2015 the Wall Street Journal, on the occasion of changing the name of its business section from "Marketplace" to "Business &Tech," stated that “[e]very business is a technology business.” Further, the newspaper noted that whether the business was taxicabs or taco delivery, it was nonetheless a technology business. Few doubted that the change in the name of the “B Section,” as it had always been called, was significant.
It is hard for many lawyers to appreciate that changes in the way business operates today force them to view their law firm as a technology business. But that is true today and will be increasingly true in the future. I hope this column (and this concept) provides valuable guidance for lawyers as they wrestle with everything from e-discovery to data analytics on their road to embracing being a technology business.
My conclusion is perhaps my favorite ending for anything I’ve ever written.
A general counsel addressing a group of lawyers stated that she still saw a lot of Flintstones versus Jetsons when addressing technology in firms she has dealt with. Be a Jetson.