If I had the time and capital to invest, I’d partner with Coursera or ApprenNet (Law Meets) and Wharton and build a “personalized” MOOC business training curriculum with wrap-around guides for three or four BigLaw practice groups. I’d hire the best and brightest JDs and KM professionals to write tailored content applying the B-school material to the real world of law practice. Then I’d license this product to premier law firms for a fraction of the cost of a business bootcamp. My client firms would, ideally, assign partner instructors to coach their associates through the curriculum–connecting the dots along the way. Just a thought.
It’s not as easy as it was for me–but much remains the same: Industry and skills specialization is still the fastest and smartest route to practice growth. Client contact, on the client’s turf, is still critical. Developing a reputation within your target industry or practice area still requires vastly more than a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations that affect it.
Law firms must accept responsibility for the ways in which they have failed their associates, both young and seasoned, and their young partners, setting them up to be set adrift when, inevitably, client demand for high priced legal services began to fall off. As “Legal Rebel” Ed Reeser suggests, in so many words, in a terrific ABA Journal article I read just this morning, law firms need to get back into the “people business”.
A new school year is upon us, the first phase of summer job interviews – blessedly- is over, my website and blog have been charmingly wordpressed, and a new class of law school graduates is preparing to enter practice in law firms around the country…..