Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession is a group of students from across the country dedicated to helping law firms and lawyers recommit to a legal profession devoted to effective and efficient client service, to lawyers as people, and to the roots of our profession in service.
We are working to ensuring that practicing law does not mean giving up a commitment to family, community, and dedicated service to clients. By advocating for reforms to law firms we hope to help keep law both a business and a profession to be proud of.
Take, for instance, their insightful post entitled "Costs to the Profession" in which they provide excellent examples and citations (would you expect any less from law students?) for costs of the current system to Clients, Firms, Attorneys, and Community. This is a MUST READ post.
Another excellent post is "The Real Losers Are Associates" wherein ramifications are discussed to the rising associate salaries. After framing the issue of excalating salaries forcing increases to already high billable hour requirements, they refer to inhouse counsel reactions to crazily-high hourly rates.
“At some point, we’ll say we don’t want any associates on our matters,” said Steve Hantler, DaimlerChrysler A.G.’s assistant general counsel for government and regulatory matters.
The reaction of the bloggers is key (emphasis mine):
Uh-oh. Many of us go to law firms — at least in part — for the training opportunities. But students don’t expect to be taken off of matters because we’re too expensive.
Are we really being billed out at rates clients can’t accommodate?
Should law students take this into account when choosing a firm?
Um, "yes" and "probably so."
I'm delighted to see this blog and see the richness of fresh eyes and thinking on these matters. You can read more on this group at Law.com in "Students Seek a More Reasonable Law Firm Life."
If you hire talented people--or want to--and wish for them to stick around after you hire them, I have three recommendations:
- I'd strongly recommend you read Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession regularly to stay in touch with the thinking of bright professionals.
- I also recommend that you frequently and fruitfully 'think about' how to improve your firm in these areas that matter tremendously.
- My third recommendation is to attend VeraSage Institute's meeting on Oct 22 in Las Vegas. We've made it ultra-affordable so price is no barrier--VeraSage operates as a non-profit entity. It's only $129 and the Rio's room rates are running less than that per night.
Fact is, in order to solve the problems these law students so articulately bring to the forefront, some serious innovation is needed.
At the VeraSage meeting, you will meet and learn from the most innovative law firm CEO in the United States, Christopher Marston of Exemplar Law Partners. Despite being described as a meeting for young professionals, it is really a meeting for INNOVATIVE and open-minded professionals of any age.