Change might be daunting, but as this year’s legal innovators demonstrate, it’s also rewarding to lawyers and clients alike.
Each year the State Bar of Wisconsin honors innovators in the law. This year’s honorees are profiled in this issue of the Wisconsin Lawyer.
com fdeisinger reinhartlaw Fran Deisinger, U.W. 1982, is a shareholder in Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Milwaukee, where he practices as a litigator and serves as general counsel to the firm.
Innovation takes some work and some time, of course, and in a busy life it’s hard to find that time. It’s more comfortable doing things the way you always have. And if nothing changes, you’ll be fine. No need to innovate, right?
Newsflash: everything changes. Always. If you’re lucky, maybe the pace of change will be slow. Or maybe you can “hide” in a specific legal niche where the winds of change don’t reach.
Don’t count on it, especially now. Our profession is being buffeted by many of the same forces that have upended many industries. The internet. The data revolution. Different attitudes of younger generations. Changing demographics in Wisconsin and our nation. Elevated client expectations in an instant feedback world. The apocryphal “ancient curse” goes like this: “May you live in interesting times.” Well, our times are awfully interesting.
Stretching past “the way you’ve always done
it” can make your professional services more
valuable – and your practice more interesting.
This reality – that the times are changing, and how – is exactly what makes the essential business case for innovation in your practice. But don’t think that you’re never going to meet the innovation challenge because you didn’t get a degree in computer science on the side while you were in law school. Big new ideas are great, but fundamentally, innovation means regularly looking at how you practice with fresh eyes and finding new efficiencies and new opportunities. Stretching past “the way you’ve always done it” can make your professional services more valuable – and your practice more interesting.
Your State Bar, through its programs and resources, is here to help.