I was able to spend some time with the many members and some clients of Lex Mundi the last few days. What struck me is how many ways networking helps lawyers. From sharing knowledge to business development, from participating in pro bono work to finding a good resource.
People get together like this in many groups and associations. In addition to Lex Mundi, there are a number of other networks of law firms. The legal profession also has many associations such as ACC, ABA, IBA, MCCA, NAWL, LMA, ILTA, not to mention State and local bar associations, trade shows and, of course, our own Counsel to Counsel program. Each of these is a “brick and mortar” network that would stand with or without technology. But technology changes everything.
I remember as a young associate talking to an older partner about what the practice of law was like for him before the introduction of a key, new technology. He had no idea at the time that his life would change as much as it did. Our firm, in fact, was the first firm in Chicago to adopt the new technology, partly because our firm happened to have the provider as a client. That technology was the telephone.
Kind of hard, today, to imagine networking without a telephone, much less email! When we’re all old and gray there will be new associates who wonder how lawyers ever were able to network without some technology that doesn’t even exist yet. This is an exciting time.