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different path

2020 has delivered enormous changes to the ways we live and work. But will American law firms be ready to recognize and use this as an opportunity to create real change? In her book “Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen,” business professor Rita McGrath defines an inflection point as a moment that “upends the basic assumptions that a business model is built on.”

Law firms are certainly responding to new economic conditions, but one would be hard-pressed to make a serious argument that most have reached anything close to an inflection point. The business model of large law firms remains firmly intact. Aside from some belt-tightening, most firms appear to be advancing the status quo ante.

But this moment is unlike others we have experienced and offers a rare chance to think anew about what works well and how firms can innovate to prepare for the arrival of a true inflection point in the future. Once we have emerged into a post-vaccine world, firms that invest energy and resources in this exercise now will be in a stronger position to move to a more powerful law firm model. Firms can advance this by looking at this odd time in our history to develop a post-traumatic growth mindset.

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