This podcast examines one of the key themes from this year’s The Changing Lawyer report, the changing work expectations for lawyers and others in the legal services industry. Litera’s Legal Content and Research Lead, David Curle, interviews Bea Seravello and Brad Blickstein of consulting and communications firm Baretz+Brunelle about how the pandemic and other external factors are changing perspectives about work today. Read transcript
Insights from the Changing Lawyer Report: Changing Work Expectations within the Legal ProfessionOn Thu 24 Nov 2022
Meet Our Host and Guests
Legal Content and Research Lead, Litera
David Curle provides research, analysis, and thought leadership about the competitive and market environment in the changing legal services industry.
Partner and Co-Head, NewLaw Practice, Baretz+Brunelle
As co-head of Baretz+Brunelle’s NewLaw practice, Bea uses her experience to help law firms identify and implement NewLaw strategies that create revenue growth and improve profit margins while elevating service delivery through process improvement and change management to maximize impact on the firm and its clients.
Partner and Co-Head, NewLaw Practice, Baretz+Brunelle
As the co-head of Baretz+Brunelle’s NewLaw practice group, he helps clients see the future – educating them on the industry’s evolution of legal services and their consumption, and helps position them for success by developing novel products, systems, and solutions. Brad is also the founder and principal of Blickstein Group.
Welcome to a special edition of LEGALTECH MATTERS, devoted to important topics from Litera’s The Changing Lawyer Research and Report. In a series of special podcasts, we'll speak to industry experts with insights on the key takeaways from the report.
00;00;18;16 - 00;00;45;04
Welcome, everybody. This is one in a series of podcasts based on some of the key findings in Litera’s The Changing Lawyer Report. The report was released in August at ILTACON. If you haven't downloaded the report, it's available online at Litera.com/tcl. Just a little bit about the report, it's based on a survey of 300 lawyers and 100 allied professionals in law firms such as people in operations, data management, project management and
Other roles. And there were respondents from all over the world, North America in the
U.K. and a number of European Countries.
And the research consisted of a survey, plus a lot of interviews with experts in the field who commented on some of the findings of the survey we highlighted. And one of those key topics that we drew from the report is that expectations are changing for the legal industry quite a bit.
And two of those experts that we interviewed for the report are with us today, Bea Seravello and Brad Blickstein are partners and co-heads of the new law business at Baretz+Brunelle, a communications and advisory service that serves the legal industry.
I thought we could just take a minute and have each of you introduce yourselves and your background and also tell us about your new law practice and how it fits in with other offerings from the firm.
00;01;48;13 - 00;02;22;07
Sure, Bea Seravello. I have a background in big law actually in the C-suite. So, I spent the better part of my career working with law firms. Always felt that I was fortunate to work in firms that were ripe for change and in that experience have been able to develop a skill set of managing through change. I joined Baretz+Brunelle three years ago to start a new law practice with Brad.
Very excited about the opportunity to really introduce to law firms differing approaches to delivering legal services and really meeting the demands of their clients.
00;02;35;05 - 00;03;08;14
Yeah, and I'm Brad Blickstein. I joined B and B about three years ago after a pretty long career doing legal publishing. I was one of the founders of Corporate Legal Times Magazine, and then I had my own advisory firm for quite a while where I launched a lot of online operations survey and came to Baretz+Brunelle because, you know, we see the same things that you guys see over at Litera with The Changing Lawyer, which is that, you know, law firms are starting to evolve ALS fees, legal tax are starting to become bigger players.
Legal service delivery models are changing and Bea and I launched the new law practice here to serve those communities.
00;03;17;14 - 00;03;44;24
That's a great perspective on this topic, which is how all these changes are affecting lawyers and others' expectations for their careers in legal work. I want to just start with one of the data points from a couple of data points from the report. A lot of them have to do with dissatisfaction. 25% of the respondents and allied professionals said that they're actively looking for another position, either in law or outside of the industry.
Another 40% would consider a move if the right opportunity claims came up. And only 38% of men and 24% of women say that they want to stay in their current role. Based on your work in the industry and what's going on in the past few years. What does this data say about the state of work life in the industry today?
00;04;07;23 - 00;04;34;25
Well, I think before I get to the work life I, I venture to say that if you were to pull law school students and ask them what they think true, their career trajectory is, I would say a good portion of them would say that they are not interested in pursuing the partner track as we traditionally know it. So that's number one.
And I think some of this, the departures and that lack of interest has to do with the fact that the spirit of the guild has gone away with this new generation of lawyers - number one. And number two is those firms that haven't really ventured into the deployment of legal technology and are still using old processes because of a belief which I'm not debating.
A belief that in order to be a great lawyer, you need to do the mundane with a generation of people that do not want to waste their time doing the mundane, especially when they know that technologically it can be done differently. That is another area where I think there is a lack of patience and a general distaste.
00;05;31;02 - 00;05;54;02
What I wonder though, is how are these numbers different from on any given day in the last ten or 15 years in the legal industry? I mean, 40% saying they would consider a move if the right opportunity comes up. I question the other 50% more and why they wouldn't consider a move if the opportunity like it seems like everyone should consider a move if an opportunity comes up.
But I think Bea is right and that you know, as the younger generation comes online more and more. I mean these are things for people who you know, grew up with a phone in their hands and grew up with instant communication and instant response from everybody and grew up, for better or worse, short attention spans and a different level of entitlement.
So I think that it's I think that over time, this is going to become more and more of a problem. And frankly, you know, the downturn in 2008/2009, that sort of broke the model of law firms, almost never, you know, laying off associates for financial reasons. You know, they were very trepidatious about doing that. That's stop in the case of loyalty is a two way street.
You know, the firms are not as loyal to their people as they used to be. And if people feel that I'm not going to be the first need to be, but all of this is going to create, I think, a lot more movement in the industry as time goes on for sure.
00;06;47;28 - 00;07;16;16
I think the concept of living your life in the law firm and that whole trajectory is just not interesting. And certainly to do it right in big law is not necessarily an easy thing for women, as we know. And there's always been an issue of stickiness for women, especially when they have other responsibilities at their home. And there has never been that level of flexibility.
And so, the number for women are being 24% I think is shockingly what it is. But I think that women have never really felt comfortable in going through the whole process of junior lawyer to partner.
00;07;33;12 - 00;07;56;15
You know, we've just come through a fairly turbulent period, but even through that period business was pretty good. M&A particularly has got a lot of activity all during the pandemic, and now we're getting to a point where it sounds like, you know, many are expecting a recession. Some firms are already starting to cut back a little bit.
Do you think these numbers will change as the economy changes? Does a bad economy make you want to stay on your job? In other words, or is this sort of a permanent shift regardless of what the economy is doing?
00;08;12;13 - 00;08;38;05
So during the pandemic, there was a reluctance to let lay people off, and there was a real commitment to taking care of their own. And in normal years, I think there would have been some level of retrenchment where, you know, lawyers would be let go because they weren't performing or they said, and I don't think that took place.
Right. And then you went into this very competitive environment where because you had the great resignation and you were keeping maybe people you would not have wanted and then you were just put in a position to hire anyone. You sort of had this associate combination that might not be your normal combination of associates.
And so I think some of them are happy they have jobs because they maybe were never going to be hired in the first place. And I do think that firms will be cautious about letting people go. But you might see those that probably were underperforming being dealt with during this period.
00;09;31;23 - 00;09;53;08
Yeah, I think that's all true. And I think the other issue is that I think the younger you know, the younger generations, the younger generation today, they're much more aware of their own mental health. You know, I mean, when I was young and I, I didn't work in a law firm, but I was, you know, I worked super hard and like sometimes like I might at best, I might express it that, like, I feel stressed, you know, like or something.
But like today like I have two kids in their twenties and they talk about things like I have to stay in balance or I worry about or my anxiety level is rising. I should keep an eye on that. So, there's so much more awareness about that, that kind of thing. And I think that the, you know, it's the number and if there's frankly, there's more transparency and what it takes to be on that partner track than I think there used to be.
00;10;16;22 - 00;10;42;24
And I think people are more frequently seeing it for what it is earlier and deciding whether or not they need to stick or not force. I think it's a two-way street. I think you know, the firms are reluctant to lay people off, but still are willing to make a move when they have to. And, you know, lawyers – associates themselves are looking at climbing that wall and asking themselves every day the wall to partner and asking ourselves every day whether, you know, whether or not they need it.
00;10;43;20 - 00;11;08;26
And I think that you can tease out some of the causes of these changing attitudes. And, you know, one of them is just the fact that the pandemic sort of forced a move towards a more balanced work life situation, although I'm not sure that that's permanent. Do you think first of all, is working at home really the be all and end all of work life balance?
And what do you have for expectations around how permanent this sort of flexibility that we see today is going to be?
00;11;16;27 - 00;11;43;04
Work-Life Balance in the pandemic proved the point, which was that law firms can operate without people being in their offices. Right. It was really hard to convince partners before this that you can actually run a law firm with people working from home. Working from home was just looked down upon. So, we got over that. Right. And now we know we can function and we can function quite successfully without having everybody in the office.
Having said that, there are certain things that you lack when you don't put a lot of energy into thinking about, well, you know, how do you teach someone client mentorship, client development? How do you instil mentorship? How do you create culture? Those are all things that are pretty hard to do in a remote environment, even though maybe a lot of the associates we're talking about are sort of used to being social in this format of Zoom.
Right. The real desire, though, is to go back to what many leaders in law firms would say is normal, which is to go back to a much fuller workweek. And I think that there will be a push for sure next year for a minimum of three days a week and probably four days a week. And there will be a backlash to that.
And those firms that recognize that flexibility is an important asset, will use that as a way to attract talent and those firms that really feel that the only way they can nurture their associates is to have them in the office. Well, hold steady and we'll see where it all comes out.
00;13;06;24 - 00;13;27;02
Interesting. And a couple thoughts here. One is that the idea that you cannot build culture, community you cannot nurture, except in the office, is insane. That's wrong. Right. And just and I would say this to anyone at any law firm, just because you don't know how to do it doesn't mean that it can't be done. But those are very different things.
So the firms that are willing to embrace the ability and learn how to build culture and nurture their people in a remote environment are going to have an advantage in terms of talent. How many firms are going to do the hard work to figure out how to do that? I don't know. I will tell you that if I had the secret sauce to that, I would just sell it to firms for a fortune and retire.
Right. Because it's I'm aware it's hard to do. Just don't. It's impossible to do. The other factor that I think is a struggle for law firms is that here's what I believe, David. The biggest impediment to change in the legal industry is that lawyers of all kinds, clients and counsel alike, conflate effort with value and if you're not in the office, it can be hard to see the effort.
And if you're not seeing the effort, then the perceived value is a whole lot less. I mean, it's the same issue around alternative fees and adoption of technology and automation. And there's all kinds of ways that that plays out. But in our industry, that's what we're talking about. One way it plays out is that, you know, it's just hard to look valuable when people don't see you working. And that's, of course, ridiculous. But that's how it is.
00;14;36;01 - 00;14;38;09
Yeah. What? Sorry Bea. Go ahead.
00;14;38;27 - 00;15;06;08
I was just going to add that work-life balance doesn't necessarily mean that you're not going to be working any less. It just means that you are going to be given a level of flexibility that you don't normally have. And people treasure that, especially those that have families and so you can't you can't rule that out as being real and creating a sort of work-life balance.
I think there's still a required hours target for associates regardless. And those are, you know, pretty steep demands.
00;15;20;25 - 00;15;49;25
Yeah, I think that's right. But also, I are thinking about my own, you know, having worked from home myself for decades, you know, and I can promise you, you know, like whatever levels of activity were required by me as I've always more than meet them. But the flexibility is really important. The fact that I can have one To-Do list and that To-Do list might be a call with a client writing a report for another client going to the dry cleaner, you know, picking on my kids.
And it's just like, this is the stuff I have to do today. And when I do it or don't do it has nothing to do with anything except for, you know, the calls and things that's really empowering and really valuable.
00;16;21;26 - 00;16;33;28
Completely, And for an associate who may never have had the opportunity to see their children grow up. This is definitely a window into a life like that. Right. And is having dinner with your family and going back into your office and continuing to work and for lunch.
Also. Yes. And also, it's the commuting time. Like, you know, it's great if you don't have a big commute, but many people do. And that's just time that you're taking away from your personal life.
00;16;35;13 - 00;17;00;12
Brad, you mentioned earlier the issue of building the culture around. You know, in this environment where we're spending a good share of our time, virtually like this. Are there any specific tools you think that are useful in bridging that gap? You know, everybody has, you know, Teams or Skype or something or and everybody has Zoom and everyone has the usual things.
But, you know, culture is a little more subtle than just checking in once in a while with short written comments. How do you how do you use tools technology to sort of make sure you understand what's going on in the firm, what relationships are being built with certain clients, what you know, what are the what's the strategy of the firm and how is it being articulated by management all those things that you sort of need to pick up on somehow.
What are the tools that are going to help us do that in a virtual environment?
00;17;33;14 - 00;17;53;20
You know, I wish I had the answer to all of that. And I don't. But I've one place where I think there are things people can do, which is to be more intentional about the assignment of work and I'm talking mostly about partners, right? And in an office environment, it's so easy to go down the hall to Bill – Bill is your guy.
You know, you always trust Bill. He's always going to and, you know, he's right there all the time. So, it's really easy to be that way. And that's not good really in any environment. So if you take advantage of a virtual environment to distribute the work more intentionally and bring more people into the fold, that's not everything.
But that's one thing.
00;18;12;21 - 00;18;24;26
And that is one area where technology can play a role, right? I mean, we have better tools now to sort of manage the expertise of a firm. We know who's working on what matters because it's all digitized. And then we can, you know, you can.
00;18;24;26 - 00;18;41;25
See who's busy, like, I dare you to walk to you. I dare you to walk. I dare any partner to walk into an associates office, ask them if they're busy and get an honest answer but the answer is right. I mean or asking. They're too busy to work on something they are never, ever going to get them on our assessment question.
Now, that's not how you make partner, right? But if I have access to the systems or I can see what they're working on and I can parse out the work based upon where I should go, that's better for me to go. Going to make my team stronger because I'm going to have more staff working on more things instead of just Bill.
00;18;58;09 - 00;18;59;09
00;19;00;15 - 00;19;26;02
I do think that there are ways to incorporate culture in a remote environment, but I do think that we have a lot more work to do around this. And that in-person meetings of sorts on a regular basis are really important. And you're not. I don't think we can ever do away with that because I think it's just important.
I think it's just a different dynamic. And what you do see is, is people get really tired of the Zoom, etc. because it just it's draining. It can be very draining in a different sort of way. So you know, I think that we and I think most firms are trying to figure this out and trying to figure out what types of things they could put in place I do think that some firms might be overdoing it.
They're having all these lunches and, you know, special like every Wednesday, everybody's in the office and this is what's going on so that they can have more community. But by the same token, that's being overdone. And I think people are frustrated by that because it's not as natural as it can be. So, it's a work in process. I mean, this is still all brand new, and it'll take some time before we get it right.
00;20;19;26 - 00;20;42;22
Yeah, I'll just add one. It's I think one of our client, I don't remember who beat someone to their motto for all this right now is together when it matters. And I think that's a great strategy, a great point of view here, right? Like it when it's time to be in person, when there's reason to be in person, when the work that needs to be done is better, when it's done in person and it should be in-person.
00;20;42;22 - 00;20;56;16
And that means that people have to commute. That's what it means. But I'd be reading the whole you got to be in the office because you got to be in the office. I think that's I think firms that insist on that without you know, I think they're going to have talent problems over and over time.
00;20;57;09 - 00;21;22;13
All right. Well, let's shift gears a little bit. I want to drill down a little bit on something that's very much in your focus of your business. And that's, you know, the rise of you mentioned it earlier, Brad, that, you know, the rise of alternative business structures, different ways of delivering legal services. Are those just the existence of those different models for delivering services, changing the way people think about legal work?
I mean, that didn't used to be more than, you know, kind of like you said earlier, the partner track, and that was about it. And now it seems that more alternative career paths have opened up.
00;21;33;10 - 00;22;02;08
Yeah, I think they sure have. If you look at what's happened sort of throughout the economy, right? Everyone talks about, you know, the labor shortage or, you know, as covid has it ended and didn't end. But as we emerged and it's not really that people stopped working for the most part is that they found other ways to work, you know, that you know, you can if you can make your living selling stuff on Etsy, like why go take that job at McDonalds for minimum wage?
There's no point, right? You can do it. You can do what you love or do something close to what you love in a more flexible environment. Make some money or more money. I think we're starting to see that more and more in legal right here. The only pathway is not to be an associate or be a partner at a law firm.
You know, the LSP is are hiring smart people. They're flexible staffing models, you know, from companies like Latitude and Axiom that, you know, deliver high quality lawyers in different environments and different situations. I think that this whole sort of I'm not quiet quitting, but this whole you know, that the change in the way people look at jobs and work is coming to the legal industry, too.
And there's a whole bunch of work that doesn't need to be done under the law for model. And other folks are looking for ways to do it. And for the clients, it ends up being often more productive and more efficient and often a better value. But for the employees, it allows a different career path that may be more appropriate for a lot of folks.
00;23;00;18 - 00;23;01;18
Bea, any thoughts on that?
00;23;02;15 - 00;23;42;20
Yeah, I would just add that not only in the other roles, but also in development, because many times it's the lawyers who are at the ground level that look around and say, I know this could be done differently and I want to develop this tool. And they go down the path. And, you know, Brad and I have seen it that some of the new legal tech is really built by lawyers who understood who have such credibility because they understand the process and they know that it can be done differently and they know how to deliver something to law firms because they're already in the mix so it even feeds the entrepreneurial spirit is my point.
00;23;44;06 - 00;24;07;05
And for example, one thing we heard about there being I heard about the other day that I thought was really interesting so if you look at tech companies, not just legal tech companies, but tech companies of all types, they often have sales engineers like they have people who work with their sales team to really understand and the technology. In law firms, law firms on the new service delivery side, more so we've seen a few firms, at least they are.
They have what I would almost call like legal engineers, you know, like they have the deep subject matter of police and legal. So, the salespeople and the other folks go, and they make the pitches, they do what they do. But then when the client needs to really understand the legal technicalities of it, there's someone who's a lawyer in that role, just like you might have a sales engineer to be the bridge between technology and sales on the tech side, who's sort of an engineer to be between the legal issues and the sales on the on the legal side, that's a great job for a lawyer who's pretty smart, somewhat maybe techie, depending on what exactly the product is, but also doesn't want to grind and wants to be more entrepreneurial, maybe he wants to have more variable income because a lot of times those are commission based roles. Like there's off. Not only are there lots of different ways for lawyers to practice but a Bea points out there's a lot of different ways for lawyers to not practice doing it.
00;25;01;24 - 00;25;06;08
And there's a lot of people who aren't lawyers coming into the profession with other skills that are.
00;25;06;24 - 00;25;07;14
00;25;07;15 - 00;25;21;06
Benefiting from a collaboration with the lawyers because they have the basic, say, product project management skills and then they combine it with the understanding that they get from the lawyers about what you know, what the importance of certain things.
00;25;21;06 - 00;25;39;19
And roughly half of the legal ops people out there are not lawyers, more or more than half of who are not lawyers because it's they determine that, you know, if they come with a business and the process expertise that they need, it's easier to help them understand how the law department works than to teach a lawyer how to apply business and process.
00;25;40;22 - 00;26;00;20
Well, we've already talked a bit about technology here, but one of the findings in the study was that 68% would consider leaving a firm for one with better technology. Is technology itself a driver for a lot of people or is it all these other things around the technology such as the, you know, the work structure and the career paths and things like that?
Or do you see that there really is an upcoming generation of us, of associates that are very driven by wanting to use technology in their work?
00;26;10;24 - 00;26;47;10
That's what I've seen inside law firms is a frustration among associates when they know that there is technology that can do the very simple tasks that they are asked to do, which they think is a complete waste of their time. Oftentimes, technology deployment could be driven by the client who understands that the corporate department should be using this particular technology, which is great, because then associates get to, you know, use it or someone else is using and doing that whole area of work.
So I think that when you'll never see an associate say to a partner, we should get this product because they'll never do that. But they will be frustrated by the fact that they are doing stuff that can be done differently and more and more efficiently. So, you know, that is real. That is real.
00;27;04;28 - 00;27;19;10
What are the blockers there? I mean, is it strictly that the firms just don't have good processes for identifying and acquiring the technology they need? Is it fragmented by practice or what are the issues?
00;27;20;02 - 00;27;53;28
So I would say to you, that's and this is something I said when I was in my roles in law firms. If we simply deployed the technology that we owned fully, we would be a completely different firm. So part of the problem is how products are deployed and the buy in by the most senior management in terms of making sure that people are using what they have, what they own believe in that that's one part.
The second is the impact on a practice. So, if in fact I deploy technology, I might have to rethink the structure of my group because I might have people in my group who I don't need anymore. And those might be people I really like a lot. So there's a lot of internal rub in all of this stuff that, you know what I always say, technology is a really good idea.
And then you bring it in and then you're like, Oh boy, this is happening to me and this is happening to me. So, I'll just ignore all of it.
00;28;26;01 - 00;28;56;11
I think that's part I also think that there's, you know, there's a bit of an education curve that's necessary for the older, you know, the more, more senior level folks. I'll give you an example from my own experience that we have someone I work with here. You know, when we have to collaborate on documents, we tend to do it in teams, and we tend to have multiple people in the document at the same time, redlining or whatever.
By the way, every college kid right now is doing exactly the same thing in Google Docs, my kid just graduated and spent his entire college experience in Google Docs with the kids that were in his team or his learning team, you know, whatever it was his group. And, you know, they went so far as in class, they would take notes together in real time in the same document.
And then you get to a law firm and it's like, well, you write this and then email it to him yeah. And that's just insane. And then you go to a senior partner and you say, Well, we want to do it this way using Teams or whatever, because it's more efficient. I had this happen and I was told, not going to do that.
I can't do it because you can't red line when you do the documents and even Teams and of course you can red line the document when you open it up through Teams, like it's insane, you know, like it. And Microsoft technology is not perfect, but it does do that. And yeah, but like no one told him, you know, and then someone had to tell him how to do it.
And, you know, so a lot of this is just really like on the ground nuts and bolts showing people how to use stuff. Yeah, that if I was, you know, in my twenties joining a firm, like I can't, I mean, I would, I would go blind with my eyes rolling to the back of my head all the time.
It's stuff that just seems so natural to them. They just seem so hard for people like, you know, even like me who tries to be open minded to it.
00;30;21;29 - 00;31;00;05
And, you know, we forget how large some of these firms are right. And they're multi-officed. It takes a lot of care. So it's a lot to go through all the security measures and get everything organized in place that it's hard. The people part sometimes is not done properly and there's like a big roll out and everybody gets their directions and this and that and then everybody walks away and that's it just it just doesn't work like that. It takes much more internal than normally it is to play.
00;31;01;08 - 00;31;38;23
Yeah. I mean that's, you know, vested cliche you hear all the time at legal tech conferences is how it's so change management it's the people issues that are the biggest barriers are that the technology itself and you know but a lot of that is around specific barriers like you know the maybe the way things technology is purchased in a law firm as opposed to sort of a normal corporation or you know the fact that the law firms are a little bit siloed and by practice groups that maybe is a barrier to the to making advancements in technology.
00;31;39;10 - 00;31;59;15
Yeah. I mean, I always say that it's really important to include attorneys, especially practice specific attorneys in the big idea that the tech people have because it's not if it's not their idea it's not a great idea. So incorporating them in the process is a really important part of getting any sort of adoption.
00;31;59;23 - 00;32;19;13
Well, you're asking people to change behaviors. It's not just, you know, turning a switch and getting the technology they have to change their process or their way of doing something. And that's a challenge. This has been great. And I want to but I want to wrap up with kind of a big question, big picture question. You know, we had a pandemic.
We're in the middle of an inflationary cycle. There's a war going on in Europe. You know, there's a political polarization. There's a lot going on. And so we're in this period of turmoil that is sort of beyond the boundaries of just the legal profession. But do you think there's a sort of a long term state of sort of long term stated that the curve of change is bending towards or do you think we're just going to be reacting to all of these crises one at a time for the foreseeable future?
00;32;57;00 - 00;33;30;01
Yes. And maybe to be a little less cheeky about it. I think that what we're moving towards is more comfort with chaos or at least disruption. If you look at one of the things that the pandemic caused was that we realized we could work remotely like we had. I'm sure there are things I could imagine that would be more disruptive to the ability to get work done.
But it's hard to think of any that would then, you can't go in the office for a year. No one can. Hard to imagine what would be more disruptive in the legal industry than that. I don't even want to think about what could be, to be honest with you. But it's kind of no big deal, you know, it's just like, you know, postponed kind of stuff and everyone got in line at Best Buy to get new monitors.
And, you know, productivity is good. I've done research on this and like the client saying that they did not get less out of their law firms from when they were through the pandemic. So now I feel like hopefully and I think this is what it will mean is that there'll be more comfort with external factors messing with us than there was when we went into 2020 and more resilience towards dealing with those issues.
But my view is that disruption in law firms takes a long time. So we're still in a disruption and are probably going to continue to be disruptive before we start seeing the kind of change that we actually think we've already experienced, if you know what I'm saying. Like I think in the five or ten year vantage point, we will look back and say, wow, but, but I think law firms tend to just be slower at reacting to change.
I think the pandemic, the pandemic gave us a big push and now we're sort of stalled. There's so many forces around what's happening in law firms that are legal tech companies as an analyst fees and people who are thinking about the delivery of legal services that is going to force the disruption more and so I just think it's we're going through a period of ongoing change.
00;35;26;05 - 00;35;50;21
Well, I mean, you don't have to think of it as necessarily being disruptive to think of the industry that is structured differently. Right. It you could call it if you're a law firm, it probably feels disruptive but if you know, if you think about it, you know, the law firm kind of losing its place as the be all end all center of the industry like you said, you've got ALSP
00;35;50;21 - 00;36;14;18
You've got other different ways of delivering legal services. You've got the in-house legal departments operating differently. It seems to me like the long term state will certainly look different than what it did before the pandemic. But I'm curious about what you think about what is going to be the law firm's position in that whatever that new constellation looks like.
00;36;15;00 - 00;36;49;05
I would hope that, and I say this all the time to our clients I would hope that we elevate the practice of law by taking away the everyday legal work and doing it differently. And allowing lawyers to do what they do best in their profession, which is critical thinking and helping their clients solve problems and solve the problems of today, not yesterday, not precedent problems, but future problems and help them in that capacity as opposed to doing the stuff that's completely routine.
00;36;49;29 - 00;37;07;20
I'd just put a little different point on it. I think that the work that Bea is talking about, the everyday legal work where that gets done, is the biggest question that we're going to be answering over the next decade or so. You know, law firms can keep it, but they probably can't keep it if they keep doing business the same.
They try to keep doing it the same. Where they do the high level work, the sophisticated work. ALSPs are fighting for it. Overseas is fighting for it. Some of it shouldn't get done at all. So where that shakes out is the question we’ll be answering over the next couple decades.
Let’s wrap it up there. It has been a great discussion. My guests today have been Brad Blickstein and Bea Seravello from Baretz+Brunelle. The Changing Lawyer Report is available for download at www.Litera.com/tcl. Thanks again Brad and Bea. I really appreciate you joining us.
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