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Center for the Study of the Legal Profession

CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER
SYMPOSIUM

THE SHRINKING PYRAMID:
IMPLICATIONS FOR LAW PRACTICE AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION
April 12, 2013
 

A consensus seems to be emerging that lower demand for lawschool graduates will become a permanent feature of the legal market. This is most notably the case in large lawfirms whose business model has been based on a large number of associates at the bottom of a pyramid with a small number of equity partners at the top. Firms of all size, however, are affected by this trend.

Lower demand reflects the impact of forces such as intensified client insistence on cost-effective legal services, the growth of more widespread expertise in mapping and disaggregating legal work, the use of increasingly sophisticated technology and communication systems, the development of new forms of collaboration between clients and outside lawyers, the provision of a larger portion of legal work by in-house counsel in some corporations, and the emergence of networks and supply chains as basic units inthe provision of legal services. This symposium will explore the potential implications of this major shift in how legal work is organized and provided, and how careers in the law are unfolding.

PANELS

8:00-8:30 am:  Registration and Continental Breakfast 

8:45-9:00 am:  Welcoming Remarks 

9:00-10:30 am: Collaboration and Innovation in the New Normal

Collaboration: A Challenging but Strategic Imperative for Today's Law Firm, Heidi Gardner, Harvard Business School

Changing Career Models and Capacity for Innovation in Professional Services, Michael Smets, Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK; Timothy Morris, Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK; Manrata Malhotra, Imperial College, London, UK.

Moderator:  Reena Sengupta, RSG Associates 
Panelists:  Kim Koopersmith, Chair, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP  
Stephen Denyer, Global Markets Partner, Allen & Overy LLP Re-Engineering Legal Services

10:30-10:45 am:  Break

10:45am-12:15 pm:  Re-Engineering Legal Services

Even in a Digital, Data-Driven World We Still Need Travel Agents – and Lawyers, Renee Newman Knake, Michigan State University College of Law; Silvia Hodges, Fordham Law School and TyMetrix Legal Analytics

How Does New Technology Affect Workplace Relationships? Evidence from Knowledge Management Systems Implementation in a Corporate Law Firm, Forrest Briscoe, Smeal College of Business, Penn State University; Marion Brivot, Universite Laval, Quebec; Wenpin Tsai, Smeal College of Business, Penn State University

Moderator: Tanina Rostain, Georgetown Law 
Panelists: J. Steven Poor, Chair and Managing Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP 
Mitch Kowalski, author, Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century

12:30-1:45 pm: Lunch Panel: Emerging Markets: Brazil, India, and China

Moderator: James Jones, Georgetown University Law Center, moderator 
Panelists: David Trubeck, University of Wisconsin Law School 
Jay Krishnan, Indiana University School of Law 
Sida Liu, University of Wisconsin Law School

1:45-2:00 pm:  Break 

2:00-3:30 pm: Corporate Clients and Outside Law Firms: Procurement or Partnership?

Deconstructing Big Law: The Future Market for Corporate Legal Services -- Preliminary Results, Molly Selvin, Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford Law School & Southwestern Law School; Patrick M. Hanlon, Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford Law School, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP

Lawyers Between Market and Hierarchy: Evidence from Fortune 500 Companies, Mari Sako, Said Business School, Oxford University, UK

Moderator: Ellen Rosenthal, Chief Counsel, Pfizer Legal Alliance and Vice-President and Assistant General Counsel, Pfizer 
Panelists: Leslie Turner, General Counsel, The Hershey Company 
Matthew Biben, General Counsel, Chase Consumer Businesses and Senior Legal Adviser, JPMorgan Chase

3:30-3:45 pm: Break

3:45-5:30 pm: Sustainable Law Firm Models: Beyond the Pyramid?

The Economic Crisis: What Happened to Associates and What Does the Future Hold for Them?, Lisa Rohrer, Georgetown University Law Center; and Peter Sherer, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary

Limiting the Damage of Lateral Partner Movement: Exit Quantity, Geographic Focus, and Multiple Movers, Rhett Brymer, Miami University, Farmer School of Business; Len Bierman, Texas A&M University, Mays School of Business

Moderator: Aric Press, American Lawyer Media 
Panelists: Paul Smith, Partner, Eversheds and Eversheds Consulting 
Blane Prescott, Chief Executive Officer, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP 
Steven J. Harper, publisher, The Belly of the Beast; author, The Lawyer Bubble: A  Profession in Crisis

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