It was my great pleasure–something I don’t often say about a conference– to attend this invitation-only gathering last week, March 21-23, of both august and up-and-coming law industry professionals as they prognosticated the future of our practice and what that might in fact look like up close for a broad array of providers and clients. 

While I will digest and relay over the next few weeks a number of interesting findings and tantalizing predictions that were discussed, let me summarize a few currents that are of particular interest to me.

One, notable is the influx and rising success of non-lawyer services in this emerging marketplace, whether those services are provided by in-house specialists in law firms, wholly-owned subsidiaries of firms, or independent companies.

Two, changes making their way into law firms are both reducing incoming associate classes and also raising the ante for efficiently training and promoting those associates, with the result being that firms are experimenting with more discriminating approaches to hiring and more sophisticated methods of providing professional development.

Three, perhaps as a corollary of at least the first point above and probably the second point as well, law firms are becoming truly more diverse workplaces that respect and rely on the contributions of non-lawyer sociologists, MBAs, IT specialists, project managers, psychologists, accountants and other professionals to more efficiently analyze, structure and deliver services responsive to client needs.

Stay tuned for the  review of this conference’s exciting topics.