The key question all legal services professionals need to ask is, 'In a game where the rules have changed, am I playing offense or defense? Am I going to be a leading innovator in this new environment, or am I merely going to match what my competitors are doing?'
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Ferndale, WA (Vocus) April 3, 2009
The demands of a changing marketplace are forcing the legal industry, rooted in century-old law firms and billing practices, to behave less like a profession and more like a business. A new book, "Unbound: How Entrepreneurship is Dramatically Transforming Legal Services Today" dissects this upheaval and demonstrates how entrepreneurial best practices are being applied to the rapidly changing legal services industry.
Nineteen leading visionaries from corporate counsel, law firms, and legal outsourcing providers offer input on where the industry is going over the next three to five years. Interviews include corporate counsel from Cardinal Health, Del Monte, Deutsche Bank, Johnson and Johnson, and Xerox. In addition, attorneys from prominent law firms and top management of legal service companies were interviewed, including Eversheds, Mayer Brown, Steptoe & Johnson, Trilegal, and the Vallex Fund.
Author David Galbenski is uniquely qualified to tackle this subject from three distinct perspectives. As an attorney, founder of Lumen Legal and Chairman of the Global Board of Directors of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), he has extensive expertise in entrepreneurial success strategies. And his business is the business of law.
"The financial and economic crisis of 2008 delivered the final blow to an industry that was already facing fundamental issues with its long-term business model," says Galbenski. "The key question all legal services professionals need to ask is, 'In a game where the rules have changed, am I playing offense or defense? Am I going to be a leading innovator in this new environment, or am I merely going to match what my competitors are doing?' "
Law firms have traditionally built a high fixed-cost associate salary structure that escalated each year, requiring an annual increase in billing rates. As more and more corporations began pushing back on higher charges, the model began to crumble. The current economic situation is only accelerating the pressure.
New legal service delivery models focus on the unbundling of tasks, such as labor-intensive document review, to perform them better, faster and/or cheaper. Other trends include changing lifestyles and workforce demographics, business globalization, and consolidation of law firms. Seven key trends are examined in the book.
The hard-cover edition is slated for an April 20, 2009 release, and can be ordered at http://www.unboundlegal.com, ISBN: 978-0-9778151-7-3.
About the Author
As founder of Lumen Legal (formerly Contract Counsel) in the early 1990s, David Galbenski, Esq. has guided development of one of the industry's most innovative database-driven human resources systems. He has pioneered domestic and offshore outsourcing solutions for both corporate clients and law firms.
Dave is also Chairman of the Global Board of Directors of EO (Entrepreneurs' Organization) with over 7,000 members in 38 countries. He is a recipient of an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2005), and many other recognitions. Lumen Legal is a two-time member of the Inc. 500. Dave graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan Business School in 1990 and cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1993. Prior to founding his company, Dave worked as a commercial litigation attorney in the Detroit law firm of Timmis & Inman.
About Lumen Legal
Lumen Legal assembles, deploys and manages combinations of contract legal professionals to meet defined corporate cost containment goals. Lumen designs and delivers comprehensive in-house contingent staffing strategies and effectively manages large-scale document review projects. Corporations also engage Lumen for direct hire search services to identify top legal talent, including diverse candidates. Resources include a proprietary database of several hundred thousand legal professionals, and field offices in 19 major U.S. markets, and two in India. See http://www.lumenlegal.com.
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