“They’re called IPOs, not LPOs!” The gray-haired professor looked at me disapprovingly. How could I not know that?! Two years ago at a conference, academics from different law schools around the country discussed undergraduate legal education. The scholars debated the doctrine of law, the philosophy of law, and other theoretical concepts as essential if such a degree should be granted. “How about also teaching them about the new realities of the legal market, the commoditization of legal services and LPOs?” I asked. Well, the rest you know.
In today’s highly competitive legal market, it is imperative to bring more to the table than just excellent lawyering skills: an understanding of the business world and law firms as businesses. Clients are demanding it: The Association of Corporate Counsel’s (ACC) Value Challenge has been urging law firms to reconnect the value and the cost of legal services since its start in 2007. The initiative is based on the concept that “law departments can use management practices that enhance the value of legal service spending; and that law firms can reduce their costs to corporate clients and still maintain strong profitability. The ACC Value Challenge promotes the adoption of management practices that allow all participants to achieve their key objectives.” Read my article in the New York Law Journal.