Matt Homann

Looking into the crystal ball.

Last week, at Minnesota’s Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, I shared a panel with Lawyerist’s Sam Glover and an innovational speaker, Matt Homann. The panel focused on the future of solo and small-firm practice over the next ten years. Although we all agreed that the solos and smalls — and, indeed, lawyers in general — will face challenges over the next decade, I still believe that opportunities remain for solos who understand these challenges and figure out ways to overcome them.

So, no great surprise there. But all of us on the panel agreed that technology is changing the face of law practice in a way that may expand access to justice but that may also take work from solos and smalls….

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What do you predict for the legal profession in 2020?

* Florida gets a lot of flak, but the state seems to be doing something right with respect to defamation lawsuits. [The Legal Satyricon]

* “How is law school like the NFL draft?” (Aside from the high risk of getting your brains scrambled.) [Freakonomics]

* Let’s “think the unthinkable” about the legal profession in 2020, suggests Matt Homann. Bruce Carton: “50 percent of U.S. law schools will close their doors due to overcapacity.” [the [non]billable hour and Legal Blog Watch]

* Some readers apparently mistook this satirical communication from Jose Baez, counsel to Casey Anthony, for the real thing. And maybe that wasn’t so unfounded. [ABA Journal]

* Speaking of satirical takes on the Casey Anthony case, here’s one from Mark Steinberg. [Huffington Post]

* Kenneth Moreno, one of the two NYPD officers acquitted of raping a drunk woman, isn’t out of the legal woods yet: he faces drug possession charges for heroin allegedly stashed in his precinct locker. [DNA Info]

* Courtesy of MoloLamken, here’s a great guide to the big business cases of the Supreme Court Term just ended. Download or print it, then read it at the gym or on the subway. [MoloLamken]

* Good news for job-seeking law students: JD Match is now free. So what do you have to lose? Give it a whirl. [JD Match]

* Musical Chairs: Guidepost Solutions welcomes litigatrix Carolyn Renzin, formerly a partner at elite boutique Stillman Friedman. [Guidepost Solutions]

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

I’m reporting to you live from Chicago at the 25th Annual ABA TechShow, where an amazing group of passionate lawyers from around the country have gathered to talk and teach about the future of law practice. While many of the programs deal with technology, the underlying theme seems to be that change is coming to our industry, and we should probably figure this stuff out before it’s too late.

As Elie reported yesterday, I had the chance to present at the IgniteLaw 2011 program, which made for a pre-Conference kickoff Sunday night. I’m not going to talk about my presentation here — suffice to say it included references to Blade Runner, cannibalistic English food, and Hale and Dorr’s WilmerHale’s invention of the billable hour in 1919. (That was the same year that Prohibition started. Coincidence? I think not.)

Instead, I’m going to talk about the constraints placed on every speaker — because they were frickin’ crazy.…

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