NEW YEAR, NEW FIRM - Happy New Year! If your resolution for 2022 is to become more well-rounded, you’re not alone. As Law.com’s Justin Henry reports, firms are eyeing entering new practices and diversifying their existing practices in order to cash in on a spike in dealmaking activities and other hot practice areas. According to a Client Advisory for 2022 by the Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group and Hildebrandt Consulting, law firms are focused on building on their core capabilities and cross-selling to existing clients, while selectively diversifying into other practices, as a primary strategy for growth in 2022. But growth in 2022 will be more complicated than poaching laterals with books of business, according to recruiters. Firms must now shift toward screening candidates for firmwide compatibility. But that’s easier said than done. As Brad Hildebrandt, a Philadelphia-area law firm consultant and co-author of Citi Private Bank’s client advisory, noted, part of the reason the lateral market is so hot right now is that many lawyers no longer feel connected to their firms. “What the pandemic has done, besides creating problems for families, is that cultures get hurt when you’re not together as much,” Hildebrandt said.
FEDERAL FOCUS - Nobody parties on New Year’s Eve like Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who, as per tradition, rang in 2022 on Friday with his year-end report on the federal judiciary. This year, Roberts, apparently mindful of recent criticisms of the federal courts, said that financial disclosure, workplace harassment and patent case assignments will receive “focused attention” by the judiciary’s policymaking body in the coming months, Law.com’s Marcia Coyle reports. Roberts wrote that those three areas were flagged by Congress and the press over the past year. The Judicial Conference of the United States, which celebrates its centennial this year, is “up to the task of addressing the three topics I have highlighted, as well as the many other issues on its agenda,” he wrote.