Legal Books and Gavel

Linked – Big Talk, Little Action? Survey Details Big Law ‘Innovation Gap’

This does not sound like an industry that is doing what it needs to be successful.

Thompson Hine, an Am Law 200 firm founded in Cleveland, commissioned the survey by asking in-house counsel and senior executives at 176 companies how much “innovation” they were seeing among their law firms. A mere 4 percent replied “a lot.” The vast majority—81 percent—replied “a little” or “hardly any.” And 15 percent said “none.”

When asked to cite specific “significant” changes in how law firms approached their work over the past three years, 70 percent of clients did not identify a single example. The most common response to that question: 9 percent of clients said “Improved communications or worked more diligently on relationships.”

I suspect, however, that firms would be more likely to innovate in very specific ways if their clients asked for specific innovations. Are these clients who don’t see innovation from their outside counsel asking for anything more than some undefined notion of innovation?

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