Special Issue • December 2021

Special Issue • December 2021
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The Changing Nature of (Legal) Work

Reconsidering the how and why of work

The pandemic has irreparably changed the world of work: showcasing different modes of working (remote and hybrid), emphasizing a reliance on technological solutions (Zoom and knowledge management software), and revealing the vast inequities that underlie different professions (service, essential, and knowledge workers). As we consider the meaning of labor, the legal profession has not been spared. This year, The Practice considered the types of skills needed to do work, the ways in which lawyers (and others) find meaning in their work, and what technology is changing the actual to-dos of work. Below, read a selection of articles that survey and question ideas around skillsets, finding meaning, and the pathways available to and created by lawyers.


Skills

Legal Informatics at School: Educational institutions provide new offerings at the intersection of law and technology
A macbook shows rows and stacks of books.

In this story from Legal Informatics (Vol. 8, Issue 1, November/December 2021), we discuss educational offerings at the intersection of law and technology in the U.S.

 

 

Educating Crisis Lawyers: Law school clinics, interdisciplinary simulations, leadership training

A hand reaches out to write on a Microsoft hub, a smart screen.

From Crisis Lawyering (Vol. 7, Issue 6, September/October 2021), we talk about how law school clinics, interdisciplinary simulations, and executive-level leadership training is training lawyers to deal with crises.

 

 

In the Situation Room: A conversation with Jeh Johnson

The headshot of a bald, Black man in a fancy suit sits on the right; on the left are the words, "Speaker's Corner."

In this Speaker’s Corner from Crisis Lawyering (Vol. 7, Issue 6, September/October 2021), David Wilkins interview Jeh Johnson, former secretary of homeland security, on preparing to be a crisis lawyer.

Finding Meaning

Money and Meaning in the Modern Law FirmFive stacks of coins, each one larger than the list, has a small plant growing on top of it.

In the lead story of Money and Meaning (Vol. 7, Issue 5, July/August 2021), Mitch Regan and Lisa Rohrer ask how lawyers in large corporate law firms derive meaning from their work.

 

Working out the Meaning of Work: A conversation with Katie Bailey

A white woman with light blonde hair and glasses wears a pink blouse and smiles out at the camera.

In the Speaker’s Corner of Money and Meaning (Vol. 7, Issue 5, July/August 2021), David Wilkins sits down with Katie Bailey, professor of work and employment at King’s College London, for a discussion on finding meaning in work.

 

Expanding Their Scope: Law firms offering new lines of service

From below, you look up at the sky and a sea of skyscrapers.

In this story from Law Firm Responses to the Big Four (Vol. 7, Issue 3, March/April 2021), we discuss how traditional law firms are expanding what it means to offer legal services, and what drives lawyers to pursue such nontraditional paths.


Pathways

Contracting Out: Using AI to transform the legal industry

A man wearing a suit stands as papers scatter around him and the destruction of a city is behind him.

How could AI transform contracting—or the legal industry at large? What’s at stake for lawyers looking to pursue a path in legal tech, instead of the traditional law firm associate route? Learn more in this story from Legal Informatics (Vol. 8, Issue 1, November/December 2021).

 

Experiments in Integration: New possibilities in the delivery of legal services

A white hand reaches forward to place a block in an open space in a small toy wall they are building.

In this story from Integration in Legal Services (Vol. 7, Issue 4, May/June 2021), The Practice delves into the shifting regulatory landscape around PeopleLaw. Companies like LegalZoom and RocketLawyer offer lawyers interested in expanding access to justice or the new delivery of legal services an alternative horizon for work; such companies also mean traditional lawyers may have to learn how to interact with such companies in the course of their careers.

 

Enter the Sandbox: Utah’s bold experiment in lawyer regulation

A sand castle in focus with a tiny red flag, a shovel next to it, and the horizon and sea in the background.

From Perspectives on Legal Services Regulation (Vol. 7, Issue 2, January/February 2021), we explore Utah’s bold experiment in regulation, allowing non-lawyer ownership and investment in law firms. The Utah sandbox, as it is called, is overseen by an Innovation Office of lawyers interested in improving access to justice in the U.S.

 

Zooming Ahead: A conversation with John Suh

What options might exist for lawyers if the legal profession was open to innovation? In this Speaker’s Corner from Perspectives on Legal Services Regulation (Vol. 7, Issue 2, January/February 2021), David Wilkins sits down with John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom from 2007 to 2019, for a conversation on the relationship between regulation and innovation in the legal profession.

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Special Issue • December 2021 Special Issue • December 2021

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