Most of us learned that if you set goals, those goals should be measurable. Sameena Kluck, Vice President of Business Development at Paladin, PBC, sits down with us this week to discuss how Pro Bono goals should also be measurable. While Pro Bono work is primarily viewed as a way for lawyers to do “good work,” it has a larger impact than just on those receiving the work. We anecdotally know that Pro Bono impacts professional development, business development, recruiting, retention, attorney morale, marketing, branding, and more. However, there hasn’t been a very good way of actually quantifying how Pro Bono works affect the law firm. We’ve measured our work by the hours we put in (pretty typical for a law firm), but that doesn’t really tell us all the story. Sameena walks us through some of the metrics that she and Paladin are measuring to show the true value of Pro Bono work and how it benefits much more than just the Pro Bono client.
AI for the Business of Law
Jennifer Roberts, our Data Science Superhero from Ep. 26, has an article in LegalTechNews this week which says that the AI Hype Cycle might be in full swing when it comes to work that lawyers are doing, but that cycle is still in it’s infancy when it comes to the business side of the law firm. Specifically in the Business Development and is the Risk Management departments of law firms, AI is just getting started. Roberts lays out examples of ways which AI tools can identify client traits. Predictions and modeling on client’s likelihood of attrition, or forecasting client’s financial viability, or the buying patterns of clients are just a few things that AI can assist business development professionals. When it comes to conflicts, Roberts writes that AI can reduce the time it takes to clear conflicts by up to 80%. There’s definitely some value-add which AI can bring to the business side of the law firm table.
OKRs in Team Meetings
We talk a bit in the interview today about OKR (objectives and key results) to remain focused on your goals. Marlene found a great primer article to help you if you find yourself wasting time in meetings where OKRs can help. Bringing in OKRs can help your team stay focused on the goals, keep the motivation high, and allow the team to adjust course when necessary. Henrik-Jan van der Pol’s article, “Use OKR to make team meetings more focused, effective, and meaningful,” is a great place to start if you’re looking to tighten up those meetings, and stay on target for your team’s goals. For additional reading, check out the difference between OKRs and KPIs.
The 1619 Project and Howard University Law Grads
The New York Times Magazine launched an amazing expose on the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. One section focuses in on four recent law graduates of Howard University. It is a powerful piece which describes the journey of these families starting with their enslaved ancestors, and travel the path through today, and the lawyers’ plans for the future. There is also a 1619 Podcast launching this week as well.
Mission.org provides concise summaries of management writings, and Marlene points us to one of her favorites. “131 Actionable Ideas from Ten Books I Wish I Had Read Ages Ago.” Author Louis Tsai walks through key takeaways of ten management books. In about 10 minutes, you should be all up to speed.