Through my speaking I help solo and small firm lawyers understand and adapt to the the economic, demographic, and technological trends that are shaping the future of law practice, including the COVID-19 pandemic that is functioning as a fast-forward button for many of those trends. I’m also an advocate for technological adoption and innovation, especially for increasing access to justice.
Look, the legal system isn’t serving anyone well. Lawyers are overworked, underpaid, and disproportionately suffer from mental illness and substance abuse. (Here’s one source among many.) Our law firm business models and court systems are mired in the mid-20th century (at best). And lawyers and courts are so poorly thought of that people will do just about anything to avoid using them. According to an American Bar Foundation report by Rebecca Sandefur, “Americans respond to their civil justice situations in a wide variety of ways, but this variety masks a powerful consistency: rarely do they turn to lawyers or courts for assistance.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Lawyers can build healthier, sustainable practices and deliver higher quality legal services at more reasonable prices. Courts can embrace alternative representation models—including pro se—and use technology where appropriate in order to create a court system that is accessible to everyone. If we understand the trends at work and if we are willing to adapt, we can create a more just and equitable legal system.
Let’s talk about how we can bring this optimistic message to your event!
Sam is the founder of Lawyerist.com, the former host of The Lawyerist Podcast, and co-author of The Small Firm Roadmap. Through his speaking, podcasting, and writing, Sam has been helping help solo and small firm lawyers understand and adapt to the the economic, demographic, and technological trends that are shaping the future of law practice for over a decade. Before Lawyerist, Sam owned a solo consumer rights law firm and consulted on appeals.
- “Moving a Small Firm into the New Technology Age,” at the University of Richmond School of Law’s 2020 Journal of Law & Technology Symposium
- “The Innovative Law Firm: A Roadmap,” at the 2019 NCLC Fair Debt Collections Conference
- “Trends Impacting the Practice of Law,” at the 2019 CLE CEO Strategic Forum
- “What Solo-Small Firm Success Looks Like,” at the 2019 Colorado CBA-CLE Solo/Small Firm Conference
- “The Real Talk about Robot Lawyers,” at Emory Law School’s 2019 TI:GER Innovation Conference
Too often, a panel presentation is just a group of people taking turns speaking or reiterating each other’s points. But a good moderator can change that by drawing the panel members into a conversation that invites the audience in and allows for a much more thorough and nuanced discussion.
I interviewed hundreds of guests for The Lawyerist Podcast and I’ve found that my approach to podcast conversations translates well to panel moderation, either in-person or on video. We can have more fun, be more entertaining, and dig deeper than a typical panel.
If you’re interested in trying something a bit different with your next panel, get in touch!
Invite Me to Speak at Your Event
Note. I don’t want to take up space that should be filled by women and people of color. If your speaker roster or panel is all men or all white, please add some diversity instead of inviting me. If you need help, I am happy to offer speaker suggestions.
Published on June 12th, 2020.