Great post by Aric Press of American Lawyer discussing the “series of microclimates” that law firms and law firm-client relationships have become. The title of Aric’s article, Everybody’s talking at me, draws on the great 1969 song of the same title. And while Aric subtly notes the famous “I don’t hear a word they’re saying” line from the song, the fact is that change has been brewing to the point of bubbling over for years, clients have been expressing their noted desires for years and law firm partners have been largely silent in response. It is the “I don’t hear” line that should be the story, not the cacophony of voices. That is old news.
For lawyers who are late to the game, it is certainly not too late to at least think about change. But it is getting close. The comments by clients suggest the gradual move toward proscribing change rather than collaborating to achieve it, since the latter has proven to be a largely failed strategy.