“Dentons has decided it will no longer report average profits per equity partner, and it hopes other law firms will do the same.”
ABA Journal, June 11, 2014

Kevin and I read with great interest the above report that Denton’s has decided to take a stand and will no longer report its average profits per equity partner (PPP), stating that the number is meaningless and has the potential to damage client relations.  Not surprisingly, American Lawyer editor-in-chief Kim Kleman stated that PPP is an important metric they will continue to track.

This story got us both to thinking about what are the metrics the legal profession should be tracking to gauge the health of the profession and of our overall legal system.  After diving into a discussion about PPP and its usefulness or lack thereof, our conversation turned (of all places) to global climate change. Continue reading

“Can we as a profession reclaim a sense of family and community, and along with it, improve our destiny?”

Marty Smith’s remarks in 2007 at the Shidler Center for Law Commerce and Technology

Seven years ago, I had the opportunity to give a talk at the University of Washington Law School in connection with the Sharon Nelson Leadership Award, given out by the school’s Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology.  The title of my remarks was “Re-Creating a Sense of Family and Community in the Practice of Law”. In the course of my talk, I covered what I saw at the time as the fundamental challenge facing the soul and spirit of the legal profession, namely, a loss of a sense of family and community in our profession, our law firms and legal departments. I further hypothesized that this loss was spilling over into the personal lives of our lawyers and their immediate families in very negative ways.

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“The Grand Challenges serve as a ‘North Star’ for collaboration…” 
 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

The Problem: Our legal system and profession are in tumultuous times, with the decade ahead undoubtedly an inflection point of change for practicing lawyers, judges, law school deans and professors, law students as well as the lives of those utilizing or in need of access to legal services. The factors driving this change are becoming ever more difficult to ignore: Continue reading