[Originally published 8 April 2020]
Are you looking for the right people to shine a light on the way ahead? If you're a partner or even a managing partner of a law firm ask your young people, ask your trainees. Book the Zoom call now. Book it for tomorrow. In fact, one better, ask your future trainees. And here’s why.
My birthday is 12 February and I share it with Abraham Lincoln (albeit I arrived a few years after him!). Yesterday I watched a 2010 TED talk "Bring on the learning revolution" by creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson which my friend and colleague Liz Whitaker had recommended. He talks about the importance of allowing our natural creativity to flourish and not have it educated out of us. Couldn't agree more.
Half way through his talk he read out this quote by Abraham Lincoln (from Lincoln's annual message to Congress in December 1862 just one month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation). It immediately struck me how incredibly pertinent Lincoln's words are for the situation we find ourselves in today.....both the world as a whole but also specifically the legal sector.
There is going to be a new normal and we will all need to adapt to survive and thrive - there can be no more "we must do things the way we have always done them". We all need creative ideas/innovation from younger people. Managing partners could, for example, be brave and ask their younger lawyers/people for ideas. Even their trainees-to-be. They are more likely to have different/better answers because they have not been conditioned into law firm mentality. No use asking the partners, the majority are likely to just want things to be as they were!
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew...." Abraham Lincoln