We at Dechert had our annual business meeting last week in Miami (tough duty). Nestled in the general atmospherics of bon ami and collegiality were sessions on collaboration and connectivity amongst the lawyers in our firm. Apparently the data suggested that law firms make more money when the partners of the firm work together. Flash. The mathematical proof of the blindingly obvious perhaps, but just in case, we were stentoriously and with great seriousness told that these conclusions were based on rigorous and exhaustive academic research; research undoubtedly paid for by the American taxpayer, along with other studies of similar compelling import such as why Americans don’t like lice.
But the point here is (and I’m not for an instant suggesting that making money is not a valid point) that collaboration is now essential to getting anything done right because we have all become so damn specialized.
All professionals and business folks, including those of us in Big Law, are under enormous pressure to be intensely specialized yet issues are never so neatly defined by those specializations which all too often also mark the boundaries of our intellectual domains. Continue Reading