Page 40 - BusinessWest May 13, 2024
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challenges facing law firms today is deciding what to with their libraries.
Once an important part of any firm’s operation, they are now all but obsolete, used by only the occasional old-timer now that every piece of information available in those books and journals can be found online, said Royal, adding that, at most firms, law books are
more prominent, especially in our market, over the past 15 years or so, as we’ve seen these maturing, multi-generational companies that have contemplated their outcome being that it’s a matured asset, and their contemplating sale to, in many circumstances, a private- equity-funded purchaser.
“And this has certainly changed the marketplace,” Fialky went on. “We’ve seen substantial consolidation in the bank- ing environments. We have larger and larger and fewer and fewer banks, and the same consolidation across the service industries — not only in law, but in account- ing, architecture, landscape architecture, and other sectors.”
But perhaps the biggest change to come to this sec- tor involves technology and how it has changed the pace of work.
Royal noted that lawyers have never exactly been 9-to-5 professionals, and now, they are far less so, with calls, texts, and emails coming at all hours of the day, and with those on the other end expecting an immedi- ate reply.
“For a long time, I resisted putting my cell phone on my business card,” she said. “Post-COVID, that became a neces- sity, and now people will just call me on my cell or text because they know they can get me.”
Fialky agreed. “The pace has increased precipitously; the volume of correspondence has increased exponentially. In the course of a day, it’s not uncommon, at least in my experience and in my prac- tice, to receive hundreds of correspondences, and those are texts, calls to my cell phone, calls to my hard line, and more, and a lot of that is transferred direct to attorney.”
  “It’s fascinating what you can get involved with in public accounting today, whether it’s forensic accounting or foreign taxation issues and so forth.”
decoration — and an enduring background for photos.
Fialky agreed, noting that the demise of libraries is just one
of many changes to the profession. Others include the now-24/7 nature of the work, the desire among clients for information imme- diately — not the next day or even in a few hours, as was once the case — and even the work that lawyers are doing, work that reflects shifts in the market and also movement toward lawyers being more generalists than they are specialists.
“I’m a transactional attorney; 25 years ago, transactional attor- neys were not handling M&A transactions and purchases and sales and private equity,” he said. “That’s something we’ve seen become
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