One of my goals for this space is to recognize law firms that are moving beyond traditional ways of thinking about the law and the delivery of legal services.
One firm that has caught my eye recently is Reed Smith. This happened over a period of time as I made three observations.
First, I saw a mention of the firm at item #6 in the excellent Change or Die article by Laura Owen of Cisco. I’ll have a bit more to say about her ideas later, but Reed Smith is mentioned for creating an online privacy law database that medical provider clients can access for a fixed yearly price. I like to see law firms venturing beyond the “one client, one hour” approach.
Second, Adam Smith, Esq. profiles the formation of Reed Smith University, a collaboration of the firm and Wharton Business School. The course offerings appear targeted at important law firm strategic and management issues. Beyond that, a firm that encourages their attorneys to spend time away from the office discussing where the practice of law is headed is progress in my book.
Finally, one of the first legal weblogs I stumbled upon many months ago was Denise Howell’s Bag and Baggage. Always interesting and clearly written, she has recently expanded her offerings by producing her first podcast. (Full disclosure: she was kind enough to acknowledge my response after listening.) Although it is clearly a personal weblog, Denise practices with–you guessed it–Reed Smith.
Bottom line for me: Reed Smith appears aware that the market for legal services is changing, and that its lawyers must change as well. That’s not something I see every day, so I thought I’d write about it.