The American Lawyer’s annual ranking of law firms by size and economic performance is law’s version of the Oscars. It is highly anticipated, widely viewed, and the subject of considerable discussion. It has been a staple of the legal industry since its inception in 1986. What began as the 200 largest, most profitable firms—‘The AmLaw200’– gave way to the AmLaw100. This year’s rankings revealed a growing divide between the top and bottom halves of those 100 firms. The top 50 firms are going strong while the bottom tier show stress cracks, notably a drop in revenue per lawyer. It might well be ‘The AmLaw50’ in next year’s survey. The 2017 Georgetown Report, another legal industry bellwether, reveals that 20—not 50—firms have achieved fiscal separation and are in a league of their own. What is the significance of the winnowing of 200 surveyed firms to a fraction of the original number? [Read more…]
The rule of law is the foundation that supports the pillars of our democracy. It creates a social contract and is the arbiter of disputes as well as the insurer of basic human rights. Lofty stuff, but what exactly is the rule of law? The World Justice Project offers a four-pronged functional definition.
- The government and citizens are accountable under the law.
- The laws are clear, just, and applied evenly to protect fundamental rights, including core human rights.
- The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
- Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives that reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute recently released their 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Industry. ‘The Georgetown Report,’ as it’s commonly referred to, confirms that corporate legal buyers are directing more work away from large law firms, electing to take it in-house or to legal service providers (read: alternatives sources to the traditional law firm partnership model). [Read more…]
Our democracy is in crisis. For the first time, the Economist magazine has downgraded the U.S. in its ‘Democracy Index’ from a full democracy to a flawed one, based on its assessment of the electoral process, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture. The demotion centered on an ‘erosion of trust in political institutions.’ [Read more…]
My doctor-let’s call him Doug- walked into his office where my wife and I were already seated. His silver hair and crisp white lab coat were straight out of a daytime soap. Doug got right to it. “Hi guys,” he began, ‘the biopsy results confirm Mark has prostate cancer. Let’s go through what that means here, analyze some key data points, and review the options. I know you have undoubtedly read up on this and have lots of questions. Please let me give you the full picture and afterwards ask anything you like. Then we can discuss my recommendations. I encourage you to get a second or third opinion and will gladly provide some names. We should agree on our course of action within the next ten days or so. I’m confident Mark will be fine.’
Axiom, a legal staffing-turned-technology company, recently announced a five-year deal with Johnson & Johnson (J & J) to provide multi-shore contract management services to the pharmaceutical giant. Axiom will support J&J’s global procurement contracting function, helping to standardize its vast trove of procurement agreements across a dozen contract types and 10 languages. This is not Axiom’s lone big dollar, long-term contract with a major corporation. A couple years ago, it inked an eye-popping $73 million deal with Credit Suisse to process the bank’s “master trading agreements.”