One of the great things about being part of legal professionals community like martindale.com Connected is that it provides you both a place to showcase expertise and get great content on deeper areas of law. There is perhaps no better place to do that on our network than during an Event, also known as “theme weeks.” These usually run for two weeks, spotlighting a specific topic of importance or timeliness in the legal industry, and can include guest blog posts, CLE webinars, podcasts, videos, in depth articles, live Twitter discussions, and more. In the spirit of New Year’s, let’s take a look at the Events of 2010, and we’d love to hear from you in the comments below about what you’d like to see us offer in 2011.
Predictions and Resolutions in the Legal Industry, January 2010
The first Event of 2010 tried something new: a live Twitter discussion with Bob Ambrogi. Using the hashtag #FOLI we hosted a two-hour discussion that generated hundreds of tweets from many different legal professionals. With ten questions on the agenda, we discussed issues like “what is the future law firm model,” “what will win out: billable hour v. flat fees,” and “what should we change about legal education?” Overall, the event sought to answer this question: after seeing massive law firm layoffs, reduction in legal department spend, advances in technology, and many other things in 2009, how will 2010 be different? Click here to check out the Event group Future of the Legal Industry to see some of the responses, and network with some of the top names in the business who joined this group during our event.
What In-House Counsel Want January 2010
This event offered a webinar that used video interviews with some of the top in-house counsel around the world. They answered questions like: Just what do in-house Counsel want? What drives their hiring decisions when choosing a law firm? When do they choose a local law firm versus a global firm? How do they prefer to be marketed to? Panelists included:
Vice-President, Markets Legal, Nokia, Europe
Director Corporate Counsel, Starbucks Coffee Company, US
Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, tw telecom, US
Managing Principal, Walker Clark, LLC, representing Latin America
Executive Officer & General Counsel, Legal and Compliance, Asia Pac
After three years of collaborating with hundreds of insurance companies and corporations, law firm lawyers and general counsel, litigation and risk managers, and adjusters, Council on Litigation Management unveiled their litigation guidelines standardization project, with the goal of earning industry wide adoption. You can access a replay of the webinar where Adam Potter, Executive Director and Founder of CLM presents the guidelines along with other members of the Board. Access the playback by clicking here.
Navigating the Ethical Pitfalls of Social Media Febraury 2010
This Event looked at how the proliferation of social media as a vital tool in business and personal communication presents many ethical traps for lawyers and their clients. It asked questions like: At what point do conflicts of interest dictate who makes your friend-list? How much can you discuss your current business without violating confidentiality? Can posts on social media sites violate lawyer advertising rules? Underlying all of these questions is how can a good social media policy prevent problems? We presented a CLE webinar, lots of guest blogs and discussions in the Social Media Policy group, and a free ebook.
Virtual Law Firms March 2010
Virtual law firms are growing in prominence and becoming a valuable alternative for corporate counsel who want to realize savings while maintaining quality. Technology now permits talented lawyers from all over the globe to collaborate and share resources equivalent to that of a big firm while keeping costs to a minimum. These savings are then passed onto clients at a rate of 30% to 40%. To explore this phenomenon we presented this Event, which answered questions like: What will be the impact on the large firm model? Can firms expect to continue business as usual or will they need to change to survive? What about the makeup of virtual firms? Who are these lawyers, what do they look like, and how will this model continue to grow? What are the best practices of starting, running, and using a virtual firm? It included a webinar and a live Twitter event hosted by Larry Bodine, which users followed with the hashtag #MHVT. Finally, we did a video with Carolyn Elefant from My Shingle, which you can watch below:
International Expansion March 2010
As the global markets continue to integrate and developing countries join the ranks of, and even compete with, industrialized countries, it is likely your company will do (or already does) business globally by entering new markets. Conducting business in the new markets often involves dealing with a whole new set of rules you may never have encountered before. This Event highlighted the best practices for market entry and international business expansion. It included a webinar, which you can download here.
Pro Bono Work April 2010
Pro Bono work presents an opportunity for lawyers to make a difference in the lives of clients in need. It can also be a stepping stone to new opportunities. So how do lawyers get started? What are the best practices for those engaged in pro bono work? How can it be used as a stepping stone in your career? These questions and topics, among others, were addressed during our Pro Bono event, which coincided with National Volunteer Week (April 18-24). You can access guest blogs by visiting the Pro Bono group through this link. Also, there was a webinar about the rewards of pro bono work, which you can download by clicking here.
Tax – IRS Announcement 2010-9, FIN 48 April 2010
The IRS had recently announced uncertain tax position reporting requirements under standards that were more extensive than FIN 48. IR-2010-9 and IR-2010-17 are part of a movement in the U.S. and in Europe to broader tax reporting transparency and disclosure of uncertain tax positions. Affected taxpayers are concerned that the Schedule required with annual return filings could create a road map for audits and cause them to reveal otherwise privileged information about advice of counsel regarding the strength of specific tax positions. This Event looked at the nuances of this new tax position and offered advice on how to deal with it.
Global Legal Department Benchmark May 2010
This Event focused on key questions related to a global legal department’s management practices of people and external counsel, with studies into how general counsel to can easily benchmark their legal department’s activities and focus their management efforts more efficiently. It centered around a survey conducted by General Counsel Metrics, LLC, headed by experienced global legal benchmarking consultant and MH Connected member, Rees Morrison. Using the results, law firms will better understand how their services fit into the overall picture of their corporate clients, helping them to tailor their overall service offering. The Event included a live Twitter discussion with Rees, and a webinar.
This Event featured advice and guidance for attorneys, law students and individuals preparing for career transitions. From the law student preparing to graduate and take a position in a firm to the experienced attorney moving up the ladder, the event will featured experts with professional tips for all career phases. It included a Live Twitter discussion, which members can follow with #MHJOB.
Join us tomorrow when I take you through the event wrap up from June on.