The Brief No. 5: the ABA report, productivity, profits, and legal content jobs this week

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September 12, 2018

Content is something we like to create, and if you do too, you might want to check out two unique job opportunities we have on the job board this week: one for Legal Writers (Remote) and another for a Legal Content Developer (near Atlanta, GA).

If you work in a non-traditional role in a firm, legal department, or elsewhere, let’s talk! We’re always interested to hear about how lawyers are applying their skill sets in new ways, and how we can help other lawyers and legal professionals do the same.

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And water is wet: the American Bar Association and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association released the results of a survey that found women and people of color in the legal profession continue to face hurdles in promotions, assignments, and compensation. And of the 2,800 lawyers surveyed, 25% of women reported experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. Perhaps the only silver lining in the report is some 30 pages dedicated to the tools that in-house departments and law firms can use to “interrupt bias” to make systemic changes, instead of just focusing on individual cases.

See you in… cyberspace: Utah state courts rolled out a pilot of their new Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) program to resolve small claims cases in West Valley City, becoming only the second court in the country to do so. The new ODR program can be accessed from both computers and cell phones and gives the parties the ability to chat, upload documents, and prepare settlement agreements. The courts argue that ODR gives plaintiffs more access to, and engagement with, the courts. Lawyers are interested to see how ODR spreads to other areas of legal practice.

Guess who’s back: White & Case joined five other law firms in London (including Reed Smith) to announce their participation in Reignite Academy this fall, a 6-month retraining and work experience program which provides opportunities for experienced lawyers to return to the profession after a career hiatus. Programs are popping up in the U.S., too, as well as wider ranging reentry programs like iRelaunch, which helps mid- to high-level professional women “relaunch” their careers after a break.

Up and at ‘em: Wells Fargo released its report on a survey of 125 law firms, which showed profits up 6% and productivity up 1.2%. Productivity, especially, has been on the decline since the recession, and that finding means lawyers are working more now than they have over the past decade. This is in line with a survey that American Lawyer conducted in August, and optimism is up: Wells Fargo’s law firm team forecasted “it’s going to be the best year in close to a decade for the legal industry.”

Had to C this coming: Blank Rome, the Am Law 100 firm out of Philadelphia, has hired Linda Novosel in a C-Suite role as its first Chief Innovation and Value Officer. In her new position, Novosel will handle pricing, project management, and developing ways for practice groups to practice law more efficiently. She was careful to note that innovation is not just about technology—but about aligning the delivery of legal services with their value to clients.


The key to better family relationships. Lawyers and legal professionals are notorious for having a poor work-life balance. On the Lawyerist this week, Jim Shelis offers some great advice and conversation-starters for reconnecting with the people you love, even if you don’t have kids. As Jim rightly points out, “quality time is the one thing you can’t delegate.”


On the blog: 5 Productivity Tools for Lawyers

Speaking of balance: what tools are you using in your practice to save time at work? Check out a few of our favorites on our blog this week. We geek out over productivity tools, so let us know your favorites we missed!

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Legal Content Developer - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Litigation Contract Attorney - Remote, CA Bar required
Local Counsel - Minneapolis, MN
Office Manager - Alameda, CA
Associate Attorney - Dallas, TX or Addison, TX
Probate Litigator - Remote, CA bar required
Junior Civil Litigation Attorney - Remote, CA bar required
Mid-Level Bankruptcy Law Staff Attorney - Remote

See a complete listing on our latest job openings on the Hire an Esquire Job Board.

Staffing up for a project or growing your legal team? Learn more about how Hire An Esquire can help.