When the pandemic began, many law firms prepared for the worst by furloughing or laying off lawyers and legal professionals. Many of these same firms then found themselves at a disadvantage when the hiring spree began in the fourth quarter of 2020. Leopard Solution‘s Phil Flora joins us this week to talk about the numbers that they tracked over this time on hiring and movement in the legal industry. Pre-pandemic, there were 6,000 – 7,000 open jobs at any given moment. Currently, that number is 12,000+. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Phil Flora discusses a number of issues around how law firms and others are managing, recruiting, and retaining talent in such an active market. Of course, money is the traditional approach for law firms, and that is no exception this time around. However, Flora points out that there are a lot of “greats” going on in the market, including the “Great Pause”, the “Great Resurgence”, and the “Great Reflection” to name a few. And while money will be one piece of the solution, legal talent is wanting many more adjustments in order to keep them content and in place. This includes more work flexibility, mentoring, and even more social awareness by the law firms when it comes to how they align with societal goals.

Crystal Ball Question

We asked Norton Rose Fulbright’s Zack Barnes to look into his crystal ball and predict what he sees for the legal industry. Barnes’ future expands upon the ability for the legal market to expand upon the sandboxes created by Utah and Arizona to allow for ownership of law firms beyond the licensed attorney ranks. For true business innovation, there needs to be diversity in the ownership ranks.

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Music: Jerry David DeCicca


Marlene Gebauer  0:19

Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert  0:26

And I’m Greg Lambert. So this week, we bring back our friend Phil Flora from Leopard Solutions to talk about their latest state of the legal market report, and just the massive amount of open positions and lateral movement that’s going on in the industry. So the report states that currently there’s an average of about 12,000 open legal positions each day out there. So

Marlene Gebauer  0:51

That is crazy!

Greg Lambert  0:52

It’s amazing. So we’ll we’ll dive into that in just a little little bit.

Marlene Gebauer  0:58

First up, however, is a fellow Houstonian who we had to actually meet for the first time when we were at legal week in New York.

Greg Lambert  1:04

Yeah, I actually work a building over from Zack Barnes, who is leading the innovation team at Norton Rose Fulbright. But as many of us in the legal and especially the law firm environment know, you know, sometimes you don’t even know the attorneys that are in your own office, because they work on a different floor. So finding people that work in a different building as just, you know, just don’t do it, you’ll always have to go out and find your neighbors. So, you know, it’s just one more reason to get out of the office and keep that networking going.

Marlene Gebauer  1:34

We got Zack Barnes to sit down and answer our crystal ball question about what he sees happening in the legal industry over the next five years. So let’s hear what he has to say.

Greg Lambert  1:46

All right, well, Zack, just introduce yourself, and then tell us what you think are some changes that we’re gonna see on the horizon, say, the next two to five years?

Zack Barnes  1:55

Sure. So, Zack Barnes head of innovation for Norton rose Fulbright, the US part of the Verein. The biggest change I really see on the horizon, as we start looking at Arizona and Utah, the fact that non partners are increasingly being able to own a law firm, you’re nodding, so yeah, it’s, it’s part of that. And you see now California, Florida, Michigan, think Minnesota and even New York, where we are now all starting to consider that it’s going through sort of those policy changes, on being sort of assess whether it’s viable and long term, I think, maybe the ABA, I know, attorneys and members of that will probably hate to hear but might the power of you know, that might be waning a little bit as we look at, you know, more open business model, where tech does, and not even tech, but a real business runs a firm versus the firm runs a firm. And it’s a it’s a hard point to get to. And that’s one of the things I started looking at, I think come from the outside, from energy in oil and gas. If you get to that profit model, that’s where the efficiency really comes into play. And it’s something that I don’t think has been considered. And even in my short time here, I’ve heard from various partners across the board. You know, it makes sense for us to be a little bit inefficient, because that’s how we build a lot of time we make sure we’ve maximized our use and our clients time. And, you know, I don’t always agree with that. It’s something that I think being more efficient allows more work. I’m an infinite sort of capacity person. So there’s never going to be a decline in legal work available. It’s there’s so much out there. The world is changing so fast. Regulations are changing, how we do business work between businesses are changing. And you know, I heard the metaverse question this morning at the keynote and sort of laughed because

Greg Lambert  3:36

the one that couldn’t define innovation?

Zack Barnes  3:39

I get it. It’s it’s a weird concept to have a virtual world. But there’s already lawyers and law firms in the metaverse now and providing digital, you know, sort of business to business advising as well, that’s, you know, that’s going to change things, too. I don’t know, how many times we had a virtual reality? I feel like there’s been three or four my, in my lifetime. Yeah, so I don’t know. So I don’t think that’s his ey to change as, as the fact that that non partners are gonna start owning law firms. And that’s going to make the Big-4 a little more scary in this area.

Greg Lambert  4:09

And I think that you you hear a lot on the A2J part for the sandboxes in Arizona and Utah. What about on the on the high end of the market? But what kind of effect do you see there?

Zack Barnes  4:21

I mean, I think it’s gonna have effect all the way across, you’re going to have to be more efficient, you’re going, I have to say, I would love to have gone to work or had interns working for me on some odd projects when I was in oil and gas that were more efficient, because I don’t want to deal with the spikes in cost. When a project comes up. I want to just like, hey, I’m bringing you this packet of patents and

Marlene Gebauer  4:43

efficiency and predictability

Zack Barnes  4:45

and I’m acquiring this packet of patents. And then we’re going to partner with this third party with this company and we’re going to do this. I just want to know how much that’s going to cost. So that as that business person, I can tell my management when the GC says okay, go do it. I can say, Okay, what’s it gonna cost? And it’s gonna hit my bottom line. And that’s a real, I think the predictability and the ability to forecast it and plan is really key.

Greg Lambert  5:09

Well, Zach, thanks very much for dropping by talking with us.

Zack Barnes  5:12

Happy to see you guys.

Greg Lambert  5:13

All right. We’ll see you in Houston.

Zack Barnes  5:15

Yeah, right.

Greg Lambert  5:22

So I think we’re gonna see a lot more of the sandboxes across more states, and in the next five years or so, with Utah and Arizona, it looks looks like they have figured it out on on how to how to set that up. It’s gonna be interesting to see more on the does it get away from the access to justice issue? And does it play a role actually, in larger law firms in and outside, just the getting people into the, into the courtroom? So it’s going to be interesting to see how this, this plays out is, and Zach’s predictions are going to be right.

Marlene Gebauer  5:57

Yeah, I think this model gives a lot of freedom to the players to really experiment in in a really positive way. Today’s guests talks about the battle for talent in the legal industry that began in the middle of the COVID pandemic. Even with firms throwing a lot of cash toward laterals, there are still issues facing women and minority legal professionals that won’t be solved with just money.

Marlene Gebauer  6:20

We have had Phil Flora, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Leopard Solutions on the podcast before to discuss leopard unique BI platform. There have been some new developments on the platform. So we’re bringing him back for an update. Hi Phil, and welcome back to the podcast.

Phil Flora  6:34

Hi, Marlene. Hi, Greg. How are you? Thanks for having me.

Marlene Gebauer  6:37

So we got to catch up briefly at LegalWeek, but not nearly enough.

Greg Lambert  6:41

Not enough.

Marlene Gebauer  6:43

You mentioned to me that there are some significant happenings at leopard legal when it comes to your BI tool. So can you give us the scoop?

Phil Flora  6:50

Sure. And yeah, and thanks again for having me. So yeah, so with Leopard BI we’ve, I think when we last spoke, we probably only had about one or two reports that we launched. And it was really more more focused on the diversity side of things. Now we’re we’ve launched 10 different reports. And it’s really focused on sort of the business of law, analytic tools that can help law firms with competitive intelligence and benchmarking and business development. Some of the reports that we’ve launched on like the marketing and, and sort of BD side of things that really helped with CRM enhancements, are our Alumni Tracker, so any, anyone that specifically was at a law firm over the last 15 plus years, sort of, but when they left the firm, where are they now we track that and we update that information twice a week, and actually offer API integration with that. So law firms are able to maintain and track their alumni either at other law firms or even in house, we, we track both sides of that, that coin. We have other business development tools focused on connections and relationships based on shared history. So let’s say attorney at your firm, spent five years at a different firm with a GC that’s at a company right now, that shared history comes up in those those higher degree of relationships or potential for those individuals know each other. So we use past career history and education information to identify potential opportunities. And that can help both with recruiting and will also with business development. We have some other reports analyzing retention from, you know, the ROI of hiring, for both entry level hires and laterals you know how well those particular classes performed. We look back at mergers and acquisitions, how successful they’ve been post merger, we also try and predict out what the cultural differences might be if two firms were to combine, moving forward. And we also look at other tools as well.

Marlene Gebauer  8:52

How do you do that? Like, I mean, how do you how do you determine whether like a merger successful with the criteria?

Phil Flora  8:59

So we focus mostly on what might happen after the firm’s combined from a retention perspective, but we call out potential issues with both firms. So for example, if you have a firm, you know, it could be of any size because we’re tracking over 4200 law firms. So it could be a firm, two large firms combining or it could be one firm, potentially acquiring a smaller firm or some combination of that. So we’re looking at potential conflicts with clients, we’re looking at differences or similarities with financial numbers, we’re looking at diversity, makeup of the combined firms. If one firm is more heavily diverse than the other, that could create a conflict. We look at differences in ages, you know, when people graduated from law school, if one firm is more geared is like I would say younger, JD year 2000 And up versus JD or 2000 and before. Even law schools where people went to law school can have an impact, believe it or not, unfortunately. And we really looking at past marriage As an indicator of what potential outcomes might be.

Greg Lambert  10:03

well, Phil, we wanted to really talk a bit about Leopard’s 2021 State of the Legal Market report. And you know, there’s just a lot to unpack here. So let’s start with and there’s a lot of “greats” in here. And they can’t see me doing the quotes. But I’ve been doing the quotes around “Great.” So there’s the great pause in the great resurgence. So legal organizations have had a different approach, both in terms of laying off and re staffing after COVID. And during COVID. You know, which models were the winners? You think in which were kind of the losers? And how has another great, the great reflection impacted these models?

Phil Flora  10:44

So yeah, so it’s yeah, it’s a great topic to discuss.

Greg Lambert  10:48

It is a lot of great

Marlene Gebauer  10:49

It is a great topic.

Greg Lambert  10:51

Well done Phil, well done.

Phil Flora  10:53

So, so the great pause. Yeah, I mean, absolutely, we definitely saw right after the pandemic hit, everyone was kind of in a state of uncertainty. So they just, they put a pause everything hiring across the board, we track open and available current jobs in the market, on a normal time that that number is around 6000 to 7000, open jobs at any one point in time, it dipped down, right when a pause hit to like just under 3000 or 2500, open jobs. Slowly as the year went along, firms realize that, you know, this was going to be here for a while and it was not really going anywhere. And some firms we spoke to and this kind of goes back to the prior years, state of the industry white paper that we did, some firms actually took it as a, you know, an aggressive, I don’t want to use the word, the term buying opportunity, but they wanted to be they sort of wanted to be a little bit more aggressive, and try to align themselves with clients and the needs that they had at that time. So they, you know, either tried to reshuffle some folks internally into different practice areas, and re staff or, you know, focus in on those do some strategic hiring, you know, maybe partners with books of business or associates restocking certain areas that clients, you know, would have a lot more need for then towards like, I would say Q4, 2020, it just, you know, everything just started ramping up dramatically. And that’s when everything really took off. And in January 2021, it was still pretty low numbers, it was below normal numbers, as far as active jobs is probably around 4500 or 5000 active jobs at that point, as of January of 2022, we were at over 12,000 active in open jobs. So it basically tripled the activity. And that was, and that’s a net number. So everyday jobs are opening and jobs are closing, you know, we were seeing them turn real quick too.

Greg Lambert  12:46

There was a lot of churn going on

Phil Flora  12:48

real quick.

Marlene Gebauer  12:49

yeah, fast.

Phil Flora  12:50

So yeah, I mean, and then the reflection came in, and we’ll okay, what can we do? Well, you know, we’re losing people just as fast as we’re gaining people. So people started looking at different ways to hire larger firms looking, you know, outside the typical, no, all firms really were going outside their typical norms. You know, to find people, we started working with some law firms that never did any lateral hiring. Hundred plus year old, you know, New York based firms that, you know, would have a attorney enter the firm, right out of law school and stay with them and then become a partner. Right, that was that was their approach. And then we started helping them because they were losing folks. Other firms, especially outside the envelope 200, we’re never hearing from recruiters, recruiters just stopped calling them because they were so focused on the money wars of the AmLaw 200. So why, you know, go to smaller firms when you can make a lot more and when you play someone higher? So, you know, there was a reflection really across the leat the law firm industry, and where they needed to go to hire, you know, the right people, and not just constantly deal in this cycle of I lose one, gain one, lose one, gain one. And, you know, I think diversity lab was a big help with that, you know, thinking outside the box. I think there’s a lot of folks out there, you know, Bryan Parker, from Legal Innovation, this talk of expanding your pool of entry level hires at a law school, and an AI you know, all of those things that people are doing, I think is is I think, the the right approach, and then what can we do to keep people engaged within the firm, that cultural, you know, from a cultural perspective, and from a training perspective, and, you know, those are all the those are all the challenges, I guess they were all facing as we got it as we get into 2022

Greg Lambert  14:39

It is good time to be creative.

Phil Flora  14:41

Yes. 100%.

Marlene Gebauer  14:44

So unemployment numbers are at an all time low. Is that true for legal? Does it matter if an employer is a company firm or the government? The report notes that there’s a trend of work to live rather than live to work? Are we seeing an exodus from legal entirely? Or perhaps just a move away from the old model?

Phil Flora  15:03

I would say our numbers indicate that there’s not tremendously like a big Exodus leaving law, I think the numbers are actually pretty in line with what we’ve seen in the past. It what’s amazing, though, is what we always identify, like, when we look at the top 200 from last year, just over 30% of people that left the top 200 actually go to another top 200 law firm. There is tremendous amount of people that go to places outside the top law 200 that could even be smaller firms, they go to in house, they go to government, academia, but that number is sort of in line, what would we historically have seen, and we see a lot of folks then come back at some point or not. And I think a lot of it has to do just with the whole culture of legal legal landscape, right, I think what people have identified during the pandemic is that, you know, firms need to think about things in a different way on how they can retain folks, it’s not just, you know, I’m going to give you large sums of money, I need to come up with different strategies for retention. And I think a big part of that is the flexibility and where people work. And you know, who they speak with and how they interact with others in the firm. And, and I think that cultural aspect of things. I think that’s was spelled out in a report by a few people that not only that we will we saw, will we also interviewed cultural aspects of how associates are going to be trained by partners in those flexible work environments are going I think, be the biggest things. What I see going forward.

Greg Lambert  16:35

Well, you know, looking at the entry level hires, that were actually staying at the firm. And let me verify that I’m reading this number correctly, that it was an increase of 136%. Is that, did I read that right?

Phil Flora  16:52

Yes, that’s correct.

Greg Lambert  16:54

Alright. So and so these these entry hires are staying, but it’s also taking them longer to make partner. And, you know, with salaries and bonuses, you know, that are higher than ever. How in the world are firms going to be able to sustain this?

Phil Flora  17:13

It’s a it’s a good question. I you know, I think I think, again, I don’t know if money is going to be a driver in all this for a lot of us, folks. I think obviously, it’s a you know, it’s a it’s a it’s it’s a big part of it, especially for folks that incurred a tremendous amount of debt right out of law school. But and

Greg Lambert  17:31

it almost seems like money’s the the floor, rather than the ceiling. These days. Yeah.

Phil Flora  17:37

Yeah. So. So I think that’s a it’s a big, it’s a big factor. But I think it’s not the only factor because I think everyone’s basically, especially at, you know, like in the Amlaw 250, or whatever. They’re all basically doing the same thing. Okay, so what separates us are your thoughts? And are you goals align? You know, how is the firm, I think, you know, social impact, I think, is also a very, very big, you know, initiative these days. How is the firm aligned with the societal goals. And if a client, you know, we see this with, with Russia and Ukraine, I mean, some firms have been backing out of Russia and back in, you know, backing away from clients that are in there, are they being responsive to, to what’s what’s going on in the world? And because I think that is extremely important for for young, young people. I mean, my my daughter, my oldest daughter’s in college right now. And I know, just from the conversations I have with her, it’s, these are, these are things they care about. And I think, you know, not only that, again, that being mentored, but also being having the flexibility. I think, you know, there’s got to be some combination on that there’s got to be some flexibility around that going forward.

Marlene Gebauer  18:44

It seems that the battle for talent continues. We recently had Sang Lee on the podcast, where she discussed the sorts of evaluations legal organizations should be employing to secure and retain the right talent. What are you seeing legal employers doing to secure and retain the best talent?

Greg Lambert  19:00

Besides money?

Marlene Gebauer  19:02

Besides money? We know we know that one.

Phil Flora  19:05

Yeah, I mean, I will, I was looking at the data and a lot of the firm’s that recently, were throwing out large sums of money, their success, or I guess, you could say, with regards to retention and hiring, it’s actually sort of a mixed bag. Some firms that did very well with growth, attorney growth, were in some of those firms that, you know, throwing out big numbers, but some did, some didn’t do. Well, I think overall, I think it’s, you know, you know, is it the right environment for the attorney to be in? Are they actively engaging with the attorney to and not only just attorneys, but all employees to provide them the the flexibility, the workplace balance, the opportunities to grow up to entities to achieve their goals, their career goals, whatever their career goals are? I mean, I don’t necessarily know if the partnership model is something that every attorney wants, they might want to work in environment that lends itself to providing them the opportunities to grow, but also maybe to, you know, to work more closely with outside counsel and their and their companies, and be embedded with them more and have the opportunities to develop relationships with their clients and have opportunities to do that. And I think, you know, giving the flexibility, whatever that might look like to to the, you know, to employees as a whole, I think is tremendous. It’s not just a one size fits all approach, in my opinion.

Greg Lambert  20:36

is that something you see in the data that you collect? Or would that be an additional survey study that we would have to look for?

Phil Flora  20:46

So it’s a combination of it. I mean, it’s really speaks more to a survey. I mean, right now, we’re actually doing a survey, where we’re tracking women that have left, you know, attorneys that have left large law, we actually in the data, we see that just over 50% of all entry level hires are women, but only 26% of partners are women. And you know, what happens from day one to make partner is what we’re trying to understand. So just over 30% of all the women that left a big top 200 law firm, went to another top two wonderful law firm, which means 70% of this was there in 2021, 70% of them went somewhere else. Okay, why did they go somewhere else? And, you know, almost as many women went to a corporate company in house than they did to another AmLaw 200 firm, it’s just telling to understand those numbers. It’s, it’s screams to us that, you know, there’s an exodus somewhere, and we’re trying to uncover the why. So we’re getting a lot of interesting feedback, we’ve had a number of people respond to the survey, we’re going to be revealing the results at an Ark Group event on May 25. We’ve, you know, it’s we’re doing some interviews, and we’re gonna do a webinar right after that, you know, is I can even share some of the responses if you guys would like to get some of the nuggets already. I’m happy to do that.

Marlene Gebauer  22:16

Yes, we do. We definitely do. So, you know, you and you hit on this in your last response. And I think some of the facts that rise up in the report, really, really say something here. So I mean, the stats on diversity and female lawyer attrician are troubling on their own, you know, based on the report, but they’re particularly troubling when you combine them with some of the other findings, where you’re saying, okay, homegrown partners have an edge, it takes significantly longer to make partner. So if the people aren’t getting in the door, or getting hit by the door on their way out, that’s my words. What does that what does that say, for the future of the legal profession?

Phil Flora  23:01

Yeah, I mean, unless they drastically change the model, I think there’s going to be a serious retention problem down the road, you’re seeing a lot more, you know, ALSPs, coming in offering very different models. You know, they’re they’re being extremely competitive. You know, you’re seeing a lot of different types of organizations that have traditionally been not competitors are now becoming competitors. We’re talking to a lot of in house counsel that are doing their own internal hiring, I mean, they’re being very aggressive, growing their own house legal departments, doesn’t mean they won’t work with outside counsel. It’s just, they’re trying to do more work in house. And I think, if they don’t look to come up with different models, whether that’s ownership models, growth models, retention models, I think there’s going to be at some point, a very, very serious issue that firms will have with keeping talent and, you know, keeping the people that the clients want to work with, I think more than anything.

Marlene Gebauer  23:59

I think that’s an important point that the clients want to see there.

Phil Flora  24:04

Exactly. Exactly. Well, since

Greg Lambert  24:06

you brought up the the Ark conference on on women leaving the last survey, you want to tell us a little bit about what what’s going to be going on there and the methodology around that survey?

Phil Flora  24:18

So yeah, so I talked a little bit about those stats. The owner, Laura Leopard, you know, we’ve been collecting data for almost 20 years. This is a passion project for her. I mean, she’s advocated, you know, for growth of diversity, women in particular. All diversity within the legal industry. We’ve, we’ve had lots of conversations with the Diversity Lab, on how we can help you know, grow diversity within the legal industry, so from us, and then we just see the data and the data is just as troubling to us as it is to anyone else. So, so this survey was really was in something that we’ve talked about a while for a while. And, you know, we thought, you know, there really hasn’t been anything that really, you know, speaks to this. It’s always surveys are always to people that are in law firms, not necessarily the people that have left law firms. So I thought that that was interesting to do. So that was some of the I that was some of the, you know, the emphasis for doing it. Our group, we don’t have a women in law Summit coming out, it was seemed like a good synergy. For us to do this with them. This will be May 25, and 26th. In Chicago, the survey is still open right now, I think, as of I think we have 150 responses already from again, these are people, women that were at, you know, big law that are no longer there, most of which are outside of law, you know, completely, you know, maybe started their own business went into private practice went academia, government, what have you, the verbatim that we’ve we’ve heard thus far, I’ll put just one in here that I thought was very interesting. You know, having a mentor, someone who cared about my career, well being etc, would have made a huge difference. I worked at a top five law firm. And there were no mentors at all, for any of us all the women that I had started with left practice, except for one who made partner and is thriving. So you know, you think about all the numbers of women that joined the firm, we talked about that last year, more women joined a law firm right out of law school than men. And I think we’re seeing that in college, across the board, more women are graduating from law school, from any school than men. But it’s just not it’s not being represented, you know, kind of once once they get into the law for a world and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons we push for to do this.

Marlene Gebauer  26:38

Yeah, I mean, I like that you’re doing this because clearly, you know, yes, they’re getting there, you know, they’re getting the entry level positions, but something is happening, you know, something is happening once they’re there. And it’s great to sort of hear these these, you know, these anecdotal stories about like, what what it is that would have helped.

Greg Lambert  26:56

Marlene had just mentioned that there were 12,000, current legal openings. Is there any data informing us why these positions aren’t getting filled? Or are they getting filled in? It’s just, they’re opening up as fast as they’re getting, as we’re filling them?

Phil Flora  27:14

Yeah, it’s during 2021. During the majority of 2021, we were seeing on a daily basis, you know, hundreds of jobs be opened and closed at the same time. Now, that’s slowing down. I mean, I would say, you know, stabilizing going on that 12,000 plus number. We’ve been around there since the beginning of the beginning of the year, and it’s been taking around like the low twelves to the mid twelves. Whereas we were seeing in a month easily during 2021, a thousand job growth in one month. You know, so it was just I think it was just like, the chicken or egg type thing. I mean, once you know, it just started, everyone just got crazy. I think there were certainly firms that were ahead of it, you know, again, go back to, you know, some of them really started being aggressive Q4, 2020, and January 2021. But by like spring and summer of 2021. Everyone was doing and I think that point, it just started really spiraling. And I think it’s starting to stabilize, I mean, we’re still at numbers that we don’t typically see though 12,000 Plus jobs at any one time. And we update that number every day, if it stays at this pace, and I don’t really see any reason why it will start slowing down, or at least dipping. But like I said, it’s starting to stabilize a little bit.

Greg Lambert  28:30

Do you know how that compares pre pandemic? What was kind of the average before the pandemic?

Phil Flora  28:34

So prior to the pandemic have the same kind of set of law firms? We were roughly in the six to 7000 job range, like a

Greg Lambert  28:43

40 to 50? Or well, I guess a 90 to 100% increase, right?

Phil Flora  28:48

Yeah, so so we’ll see. I mean, again, it’s it’s stabilized at this point, we’re not seeing hundreds open hundreds, close every day, you know, there is ways we can track, I don’t have it in front of me. But there are ways that we could track the, you know, the length of the job is open. But a lot of them, you know, will noticing a lot of these jobs that are same jobs, and they have them in multiple offices, right. So you might have a job close in New York, but they’re still trying to fill almost the exact same position in DC and Houston. So the job is still, you know, they might take it down for they might adjust the job. So it’s no longer available in New York, but it’s just you know, everyone’s just looking for talent, you know, irrespective of where it is right now.

Greg Lambert  29:24

So Marlene, I know you don’t have the crystal ball question written down here. But do you want to you want to ask him the crystal ball question?

Marlene Gebauer  29:31

I will ask him the crystal ball question. So Phil, we ask all of our guests now the crystal ball question what we call the crystal ball question. So you know, what do you see for the future in the next, you know, several years in legal?

Greg Lambert  29:45

I would actually try to narrow that down a little bit. Phil, if you don’t mind and I would say what is the data that we’re going to try and collect over the next half decade that you think would be really important to help tell the story of legal going in into the, you know, the 2030s?

Phil Flora  30:03

I think it’s a good question. I think the the key data points, I mean, what we’re tracking, we have an index, where we track a couple of different variables that spotlight how a law firm is performing. And these are usually a lot of traditional numbers and, and things but we look at, you know, headcount growth and decline, how well firms are doing it retaining their attorneys, financial stability over time, diversity, all of these things are some of the things that go into our index scores. And that gets updated twice a week, we feel that that’s a good measurement of how a firm is doing at any one time. You know, I what we’re going to be looking at 10 years from now? I think it’s going to be expanding that to not just law firms looking at other organizations looking at, you know, how they conduct law, how they support the industry, how, you know, what are client’s, I think, more and more, we need to hear what client’s thoughts are. So what are their measurements of a successful relationship? I think billing is always going to be something of interest. I think new ways to do that, I think is going to be exceptionally important. So, again, I think a lot of that’s going to be driven by what clients say, but I don’t know what those exact things are. Unfortunately, I wish I could come up with some better things. But I think I think

Greg Lambert  31:29

That’s fine we kind of come out of left field with that one.

Phil Flora  31:31

No, that was good.

Greg Lambert  31:35

Phil Flora, we appreciate you taking the time. It was good catching up with you at LegalWeek. And we’re glad we’re glad that we got you back onto the show to talk about what all you’re doing there at Leopard Solutions.

Phil Flora  31:48

I appreciate it, Greg. Appreciate it. Marlene, and I hope to look forward to you got hope for hope to see you guys at AALL.

Greg Lambert  31:55


Greg Lambert  31:58

Marlene, it’s always good, anytime we get a chance to have Phil on on the show, you know, we we go way back to his ALM days.

Marlene Gebauer  32:06

I know, I know.

Greg Lambert  32:07

We got some stories we probably can’t share on the podcast.

Marlene Gebauer  32:11

We definitely can’t. But it was great to have Phil on. And I mean, what what a what a really interesting topic. I mean, right up our alley, it’s like all about you know, data insights and, and what they’re doing over a Leopard. So that’s pretty cool.

Greg Lambert  32:26

Yeah, and it’s gonna be interesting to see what they do. I like his idea. I know, we kind of hit him out of left field with the crystal ball question because we didn’t have it on our on our list. But I think (sorry Phil), but I think, you know, the idea of getting more of the statistics out of out of the client side. I think that’s getting more data points that that side, I think, I think he hit the nail on the head even even though we threw the nail up there at the last second.

Marlene Gebauer  32:53

That’s true.

Greg Lambert  32:54

So thanks again for Phil Flora from Leopard Solutions for coming in and taking the time to talk with us.

Marlene Gebauer  33:00

And of course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found @gebauerm on Twitter.

Greg Lambert  33:12

And I can be reached at @glambert on Twitter

Marlene Gebauer  33:16

Or leave usa voicemail on The Geek in Review Hotline at 713-487-7270 and as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you Jerry.

Greg Lambert  33:26

Thanks, Jerry. Alright Marlene, I will talk with you later.

Marlene Gebauer  33:29

Okay, bye bye