Ron Friedmann

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Last week I joined a virtual lunch hosted by Ari Kaplan (thanks Ari!). We discussed what the legal market might look like post crisis. I raised the idea that, in working from home and living through disruption, we should rethink how lawyers work, not merely replicate from home inefficient processes from the office. That old analogy: “invent a car, don’t mechanize a horse”. Right now, however, perhaps there is too much urgent work. But if…
This week I convened a group call to discuss and share COVID-19 challenges in large law firms. Ten senior staff leaders of large law firms participated, most US-based but one from the UK and one from Canada. For those in large law firm who have not had an opportunity to connect with peers, perhaps reading about others’ challenges will help. This is about commiserating, not solutions. Two bright spots did come out so I start…
I share here my experience with a judicial system failure. I sued a manufacturer for breach of warranty in Virginia small claims court. On Friday, I won a default judgment. Now I have to figure out how to collect. My story illustrates our judicial system failure – its unfriendly nature and poor design. I have a JD yet found the instructions and interaction with the courts difficult and confusing. What does that mean for the…
Many discussions of legal market evolution or revolution (AKA disruption) miss a key element: our perception of change. This hit home last week in a fabulous Twitter dialog that I had with Jason Barnwell, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Business, Operations, and Strategy at Microsoft. In response to one of my Tweets, Jason hand-drew a diagram that uses simple math and a graph to explain how our perception of change can differ. (Our Twitter dialogue…
Clickbait titles don’t appeal to me but my original idea for a title here – “Incremental Change in 2020” – just sounded too lame. Unlike many other commentators, I shy away from bold predictions of big changes coming soon. I’ve worked for three decades in the corporate legal market and have witnessed many incremental changes but few dramatic ones. Yet Big Law today does look rather different than it did when I started in the…
On Friday morning (1 November 2019) I Tweeted (screenshot): [The original LPO Are Disputing article cited in that Tweet is here. I dashed off this post in about 15 minutes on Sunday morning to inject into the Twitter conversation. Apologies if some context is not clear.] My Tweet gave rise to multiple related and robust conversations, especially about the the legal talent that BigLaw (large law firms) hire versus the talent that the Big…
This is a live post from the Ark Knowledge Management conference; the title of this talk is Legal Enterprise Search at the Crossroads. The presenters are Harris Tilevitz, Chief Technology Officer, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Douglas Freeman, Knowledge Systems Manager, White & Case LLP Kate Simpson, National Director of Knowledge Management, Bennett Jones LLP Moderated by Brenton Miller, Brenton B. Miller Consulting Moderator Brent says enterprise search decisions are all about…
This is a live post from the Ark Knowledge Management conference; the title of this talk is Building your Firm’s Book: Knowledge Management and RFPs. The presenters are Robert Gretch, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Catherine Egan, Client Development Operations Manager, O’Melveny & Myers LLP Elizabeth Kennedy, Director of Strategic Business Development, Mayer Brown Moderated by Anna McGrane, COO, PacerPro As with all my live conference blogs, I post as a session ends. So…
A classic scene in the movie THE GRADUATE explains to the young protagonist (Dustin Hoffman) that the future lies in plastics. Spool forward 50 years and the concept to replace plastics is data.  ARK Group’s upcoming legal KM conference—October 22-23 in New York—poses the question “What is the mission for today’s law firm Knowledge Management function?”. The answer is not exactly data, but the mission definitely turns on mastering data. As the conference program…
Can we anticipate lawyer’s know-how needs? That is, can we push information to them rather than asking them to pull it. At the Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession by Ark Group on October 22, 2019 in NYC, a session I lead will address this question. My panelists and I will not answer the question. Rather, we will lead an audience interactive discussion. And we may not reach conclusions – we view the session as…