This picture has nothing to do with Biglaw. (SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Photos)

I imply, look, I like clicks too. I get it. However this headline proper right here is ridiculous:

Past the Meeting Line: May Large Regulation Companies Defeat Al-Qaeda?

I imply, one is a bunch of well-trained, anti-social folks with darkish goals, and the opposite is Al-Qaeda (zing). However, umm, it’s a great headline as a result of after I learn it on’s Mid-Market Report, I clicked to see what mixture of loopy and market stress might result in such a query.

The premise is that Biglaw has an outdated strategy to consumer companies, the identical approach the U.S. navy had an outdated, Chilly Battle strategy to counter-insurgency and it was solely when the navy tailored to new realities that it was capable of push again in opposition to Al-Qaeda.

Or one thing. I didn’t spend an excessive amount of time wrestling with the central premise, lest I be sucked right into a vortex the place John Quinn has his fingers on the nuclear button and offers Selendy & Homosexual 48 hours to disband, “or else.”

Seems, the piece was written by John Pierce, who’s the managing accomplice of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Worth & Hecht, and has a curiosity in speaking about how his agency outcompetes the massive boys. Once more, I get all that. Please e-mail [email protected] and I’ll get it much more.

However… I don’t know what to do with this passage:

Pierce Bainbridge’s historical past thus far solely confirms how effectively [General Stanley McChrystal]’s imaginative and prescient does certainly apply to authorized battlefields. In case after case, we’ve bested Large Regulation companies; their timekeepers and analysis specialists couldn’t prevail in opposition to the sort of software program wherein we’ve invested, as a result of ours makes “frenetic sharing” potential in ways in which standard e-mail can’t…

Prior to now, Large Regulation Goliaths usually massacred small rivals by overwhelming them with sundry paperwork and motions. Which will have been sound technique as soon as upon a time. However our agency has achieved one thing similar to the 10-hour-to-27-minutes transformation achieved by McChrystal’s process pressure.

This seems like a great time to say that: LITIGATION IS NOT WAR! It’s not like warfare. DELIVERING CLIENT SERVICES IS NOT LIKE DEFEATING AL-QAEDA.

Industrial aviation, in contrast to different industries, faces the fixed risk of catastrophe; certainly, United’s initiative was impressed by the crash of Flight 173 three years earlier. Just like the U.S. navy after 9/11, there was compelling motivation to entertain radical change. Nonetheless, many different forms of organizations gained’t actually adapt till their very own ramparts begin to tumble like Twin Towers. Alas for big legislation companies, that day of reckoning could come earlier than their harshest detractors predict.


Right here’s an analogy I can go along with: Small legislation agency proselytizers generally simply want to relax as a substitute of making an attempt to blow the whole lot up like Al-Qaeda.

Beyond the Assembly Line: Could Big Law Firms Defeat Al-Qaeda? []

Elie Mystal is the Government Editor of Above the Regulation and the Authorized Editor for More Perfect. He might be reached @ElieNYC on Twitter, or at [email protected]. He’ll resist.


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