We are only a few days into 2022, which seems to be off to a flying start for us all, so we wanted to pause and share with you our annual “NewLaw” resolutions.
Why NewLaw? NewLaw is a term to describe any nontraditional method of pricing or providing legal services. NewLaw encompasses a broad group of entities and innovations: In addition to law firms, there are entire companies (e.g., ALSPs) and technology segments (e.g., AI-powered contract management tools) dedicated to NewLaw.
One thing all NewLaw initiatives have in common, however, is that they are predicated on a desire to change for the better. So, using the most common New Year’s resolutions as a starting point, here are 10 NewLaw resolutions for 2022:
- Exercise more: I resolve to exercise my willingness to change my habits.
- Lose weight: I resolve to find a scale with which to regularly measure our progress.
- Get organized: I resolve to deploy and use process and technology to help myself and my team stay better organized and keep projects on track.
- Learn a new skill or hobby: I resolve to continue my technology and innovation training and push others to do so throughout my organization.
- Live life to the fullest: I resolve to work toward better work/life balance by learning how to get my projects done more efficiently.
- Save more/spend less: I resolve to build systems and processes to drive efficiency and make my team and organization more profitable.
- Quit smoking: I resolve to see through the smoke and mirrors and find solutions that work for my team and my organization.
- Spend more time with family and friends: I resolve to create a more intimate remote work environment for my team.
- Read more: I resolve to stay abreast of what’s happening in legal tech and legal innovation.
- Travel more: I resolve to spend more time with colleagues and clients, hopefully in person.
As we know the failure rate for resolutions is quite high. So why, then, make any resolutions at all? Because when it comes to innovation, we learn from failure. And while it isn’t easy to celebrate any failing, the questions that result can provide clarity. Why did we fall short? Were we overreaching?
The reason people make the same resolutions year after year is because change is difficult. New Year’s resolutions are hard enough to keep on your own; NewLaw resolutions are even harder to keep because they usually require adoption from many others throughout one’s organization. Simply demanding change hardly ever leads to permanent change, so be realistic and use the insights you garner to keep pushing.
Change is not only difficult, it’s also inconsistent. Just like with a weight loss program or a commitment to read more books, fits and starts are commonplace. It may seem like you are making progress, then you may stall, then it may seem like there will never be any progress ever again. And then one day, you may break through. The most important resolution is to resolve to never give up.
Beatrice Seravello and Brad Blickstein are partners and co-heads of the NewLaw practice group at Baretz+Brunelle. They help law firms and others in the legal ecosystem to build, drive adoption and bring to market new legal service delivery models. You can download their recent report on the Internal Adoption of Innovation by Law Firms at www.baretzbrunelle.com.