作者：Meg Utterback King&Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution Group
When I began practicing law in 1991, lawyers still aspired to join a law firm for life. The partners were like our parents, mentoring us and bringing us along as lawyers, imbuing both good and bad habits that they themselves had learned over the years. Oddly though, I do not long for the familial atmosphere of my original firm. Those days of practice, while comfortable, were not innovative. A lot of bad habits were passed down to junior partners. Not many partners were looking to be creative or change how the system worked. They had nice cars and kids in college and bills to pay so the status quo was safe.
In the past twenty-three years, the profession has taken a diametric shift. It began with lawyers being more inclined to change firms or develop new practice areas. The availability of new modes of communication via the internet, mobile phones and teleconferencing brought us closer together with our colleagues and with our clients. It also created a 24/7 work ethic that changed how we related to our jobs and our families. In this time, it became acceptable to change firms. In fact, by changing firms, you could see what worked and what didn’t work. The world also shrunk. I moved into bigger law firms and from the US East Coast, we often worked with our colleagues on the West Coast or traveled cross country to take depositions and try cases. It was no longer a provincial local practice.
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