Almost exactly three years since I called time on this blog (see The End of the Beginning) , I now feel called to reignite it but in a way that better fits in with the way social media has evolved. The battle for attention has intensified – lawyers and their business colleagues (whether in law firms or businesses) are more overloaded with information than ever. A partner at a large UK law firm calls it the “fight against digital obesity” while another talks of fee earner productivity in firms dropping, yet the lawyers are working harder than ever.
Working in the profession for nearly twenty years, as lawyer, client, consultant and supplier, this is a trend I have seen evolve and intensify. As Davenport highlighted in his book The Attention Economy, attention is an increasingly critical resource. With this in mind, I have over the last ten years refined a set of content sources that consistently cover the most relevant and thought provoking trends in the fast-changing legal market place and the skills and capabilities lawyers and their colleagues need to stay ahead of the game. I curate and share the best of this via twitter and Linkedin, and am conscious that the legal world probably doesn’t need me starting blogging again and adding another item to an overloaded agenda.
The other aspect to this is that much of my message in the last ten years has been the need for law firms to embrace efficient working (a challenge which many of the large firms are now genuinely meeting rather than skirting round the edges), and as such I believe it is important for me to operate in a way which makes a thoughtful trade off between the time I invest in the blog and the impact it has for my readers, my company and for me personally (and anyone else with a similar philosophy might like a look at Essentialism, one of the best books I read this year).
For my readers, I do believe I can offer a different perspective on the legal market. As well as the roles I mentioned earlier, I have spent the last three years focusing on the world of in-house counsel in the UK, and have interviewed, researched and worked with many different in-house teams. For the last six months I have been in a similar role working with the UK’s largest law firms, which adds another dimension to my thinking. Synthesising this and drawing out key trends prompts a number of questions in my mind about the challenges facing the profession.
It is these questions that will form the basis of this blog’s revival – posted as “the writing on the wall”. As ever, I’d love your feedback on both the format and content. I genuinely hope they are useful and get you thinking.