Courtesy of JD Supra, I get data every month on how many times my posts are read.  I thought it might be an interesting exercise to identify the 5 most-read posts of 2017 and see if there is any common thread.  It turns out there is.   Here are the most-read posts:

  1. HAL 9000, washing machines and AI in Law. Addressing a tweet that says “I hate the term ‘AI’. It makes people thing we’re building a single monolithic HAL 9000. We’re not.  We’re making washing machines.”  But buyers need more that a series of gadgets—washing machines, blenders, coffee-makers, TVs and so on.  Legal buyers need things that integrate seamlessly into the stuff they already have or with other stuff being made that will address their other needs.  A series of unrelated, unintegrated gadgets won’t solve the big problem.
  2. Getting to where you want to be—it’s like going on vacation. Change is a process and a journey that needs to be planned and navigated.
  3. Renter v. Investor? Buyer v. Builder? This post is really a challenge to in-house counsel. Is your relationship with your outside counsel a transactional one, a series of one-off engagements where you are looking for the best price?  Or are you building something, investing in the future in a way that will provide the long-term return you need for continued success?
  4. Is Time Really The New Black? Hardly.  This post is a response to the article Time Is The New Black.  I couldn’t resist. The article was a series of arguments about why the billable hour was a good thing. The arguments raised in the article were not winning ones, at least in my view.
  5. Justifying shadow billing as promoting diversity? Much better ways exist. Casey Flaherty and Vince Cordo wrote an article that said, in part, that Shell uses shadow bills (hours tracking) as a way to determine the level of diversity Shell’s firms were achieving.  I thought this was a great idea (tracking diversity efforts) that was poorly executed and provided options that were, in my view, would provide more useful data on diversity efforts.

What do these posts have in common?  Each, in one way or another, deals with change in the legal industry and the discomfort people experience or difficulties they encounter as they navigate the tectonic changes now occurring.  It is a bright spot that more people in the industry now seem to care about the changes that are occurring and are thinking about the solutions.