Hello! And welcome to the inaugural post of our brand new “Dan and Jane” series here on 3 Geeks.
At a conference recently, a fan mentioned that she missed our old Elephant posts. We loved getting outside opinions and ideas, but frankly it was a lot of administrative work and we’re not really administrative people. Well… actually, we are administrative people, but only in our day jobs. We don’t want to do it in our free time too. We’d rather spend our time writing our opinions than cobbling together a whole bunch of different opinions. So, we’ve decided to split the difference with our Dan and Jane posts.
These will be the written equivalent of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the style of Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain’s Saturday Night Live Point/Counter-point sketches. (Oh, c’mon children. Google it.) We will hit beneath the belt and above the intellect. We will have Dan and Jane tackle big controversial topics that you or we, probably wouldn’t write about under our own names. We have a couple of examples lined up in the next few days, but ultimately, we want you to submit topics and arguments for Dan and Jane to discuss. Don’t worry about being funny or insulting, we will take care of that. Send us your tired and poor arguments, your huddled whiny complaints yearning to be published. We’ll sufficiently tart them up and put them in Dan and Jane’s voice. And if you want it, we’ll even give you full credit.
UPDATE: You can submit topic ideas for Dan and Jane to DandJ3Geeks@gmail.com.
For those of you not wanting to fully enter the Dan and Jane fray – feel free to voice your opinion on whether Dan or Jane wins the day, or if you think they are both completely off point. Leave a comment, or just vote in the box to the right.
Episode One finds Dan and Jane arguing about whether change is possible in BigLaw…
|Image [CC] – Kili|
DAN: Listening to everyone harp about how stupid BigLaw is, or even how stupid lawyers are in general, has got me thinking lately. First – I grow tired of hearing about it. Second – we (as an industry) are not that stupid. The industry may be risk-adverse, or even at times fully risk avoiding. However, stupid is not usually on the list. Things HAVE Changed and I have proof.
DAN: This approach drives cost savings and drives some minimal project management. With a limited number of team members, it means resources have to be allocated more thoughtfully.
JANE: No more “matter parties”, where every associate in the office gets drunk and naked and bills a couple of hours to the client they pull out of a hat.
DAN: Look, you smarmy little cynic, perhaps it’s not full-on project management, but it is a greater focus on managing to budgets. And that IS a definite change from the way they used to do things.
DAN: Will you shut the heck up and let me finish! Lastly, there is much more interest in new technologies. Prior to 2007 any technology that cut the number of hours on a matter was not very popular. Now, there is a clamor for these types of tools. Admittedly there is limited adoption, but the mere fact that opinion has swung around so hard is a sign of change.
JANE: I’ll tell you what’s swinging around hard… The idea that this interest in new technologies is in any way related to a real change in the mindset of lawyers. The only thing driving new legal technology is the iPad. You just try selling a new time-saving project management tool that doesn’t have an iPad app.
DAN: Jane, you ignorant sludge monger. That is simply not true. There is real change going on and I am seeing it at all levels of the market. Just last week I heard about a small firm (20 or so lawyers) utilizing AFAs and efficiency approaches. Granted, much of this change is a refinement of the old way of doing things.
JANE: Much of this change is masking the old way of doing things.
DAN: I still think the legal market needs to embrace deeper, more structural changes. However, to say lawyers are stupid and not changing is missing the real picture.
JANE: Dan, PEOPLE are stupid and you’ve just proven it. To the extent that lawyers are people…well.
DAN: Change is occurring!