2015 Year-End Report

Special Issue • December 2015
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A Letter to Our Readers

From the editors

As The Practice completes its first year, we would like to express our deep thanks to all of you for your readership and support. Over the course of our first year, we have published six issues of The Practice on topics ranging from Women as Lawyers and Leaders to Professionalism in the 21st Century to Teamwork and Collaboration—and we recently released the first issue of Volume 2, which focuses on Lawyers in Politics. We have interviewed numerous managing partners, general counsels, and legal professionals and have presented exclusive research and data across our wide range of topic areas. Together we have amassed a readership of thousands, including leaders in law firms, top in-house legal departments, and leading law schools from around the world.

The Practice is driven by a desire to not simply comment on the hot topics of the day but to offer nuanced perspectives on the major issues lawyers and legal professionals will face over the long-term.

In this 2015 Year-End Report, we bring together many of the themes that we have covered this year through short topic videos delivered by David B. Wilkins, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law and the faculty director of the Center on the Legal Profession. Included in this collection of videos are his thoughts about what 2016 might bring for the global legal profession. We hope that you will find these videos and the ideas they impart to be informative and helpful in your practice.

The Practice is a unique publication that aims to be a bridge between the research that the Center and other leading scholars conduct and those we study each and every day—practicing lawyers and legal professionals. As we said when we launched our first issue, A Global Age of More for Less, last November, The Practice offers deeply substantive articles that cover the most important issues facing the profession and drawn from the highest-quality objective, empirical research. The Practice is driven by a desire to not simply comment on the hot topics of the day but to offer nuanced perspectives on the major issues lawyers and legal professionals will face over the long-term. Leveraging the Center’s global reach, The Practice provides this content not just for those in the field here in the United States but also around the world.

We at The Practice remain committed to bringing readers empirical, objective, and exclusive research on the legal profession. Indeed, our most recent issue, Lawyers in Politics, was headlined by an article by Nick Robinson, a Center research fellow, in which he offers previously unpublished data on the declining dominance of lawyers in the U.S. Congress. Similarly, our issue, Teamwork and Collaboration, was headlined by an article from Heidi Gardner, a Center distinguished fellow. The piece contained exclusive data from her research on the benefits of collaboration. It is this kind of empirical, objective, and exclusive research that we commit to continue to bring to our readers.

We remain committed to bringing readers empirical, objective, and exclusive research on the legal profession.

One of the most popular parts of the publication has been our Speaker’s Corner, in which we invite leaders and experts to discuss the theme of the issue. In choosing our Speaker’s Corner guests, we endeavor to find voices that are impactful as well as ones that those within the legal profession might not otherwise be exposed to. Two of our most popular columns were written by individuals who are far removed from the practice of law: Rakesh Khurana, the dean of Harvard College and an expert in professional values (who discussed what professionalism means in the twenty-first century), and Robin Ely, a professor at Harvard Business School and the world’s leading expert on gender in the workplace (who wrote about women in the profession). As we move forward, we will continue to expose our readers to experts and thought leaders coming from a variety of—and often from unfamiliar—perspectives.

As many readers have told us, our articles are often deeper and more nuanced than what is available in the traditional legal press—after all, how often do you see Alexis de Tocqueville quoted in mainstream legal periodicals! We see this as a fundamental strength and a core value of our publication. Offering deeply substantive content is integral to our mission. However, we also know that academic research is often presented in ways that aren’t amenable to busy working professionals. That is why we strive to package The Practice in an integrated, accessible format and deliver it to you through an innovative, easy-to-use digital platform. We continue to make strides towards improving these processes and welcome your comments.

Offering deeply substantive content is integral to our mission.

For the upcoming year, The Practice has an exciting lineup on deck. Our January 2016 issue will focus on the rise of the Big Four in Law and will present exclusive research on the reemergence of the accountant firms in the delivery of legal services. Other topics in the works are global pro bono and access to justice, the changing role of the general counsel, the rise of the compliance officer, legal identities, and quality metrics in law.

As we conclude our first year of publication, we also have a request: Keep reading, and keep contributing your thoughts, ideas, and comments. The Practice works because we are able to talk to and learn from those in the field.

We hope that you continue to enjoy The Practice and wish you a peaceful New Year.

 

2015 Year-End Report Special Issue • December 2015

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