Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back

Learn How to Grab the Next Branch

Written by: Scott H. Harris

Published in New Hampshire Bar News (1/20/2016)

It goes without saying, today’s practice of law is not your grandfather’s practice (and 30 years ago it would more likely have been your grandfather’s, not your grandmother’s, practice).

Think back to 1985. Cell phones weren’t what they are today. If you had one, it was transported in a bag with an enormous battery, or hard wired into your car (and it kind of burned your fingers when in use for too long – not that the radiation has any long-term impacts, right?).

If you wanted to stay in touch with the office, rather than being tethered to a smart phone, you might carry a pager and a calling card or a pocket full of dimes. Computers took floppy disks that were filled up one file at a time. The Internet consisted of a couple thousand PhD-level researchers at fixed university and government locations with a systemic capacity of about a million bits per second.

Today, the Internet connects close to 1 billion people with a network capacity measured in petabits per second

(10 to the 15th degree). Phones are not just phones anymore, and their ubiquity mean your office tether is always attached unless you consciously sever it. Computers can take dictation and give you access to libraries worth of information with the right search terms and organization. And when you do take a little time for yourself, you have access to virtually unlimited movies, music and other on-line entertainment with the click of a mouse.

At the same time technology is changing at light speed, the demographics impacting the practice are also rapidly evolving. In 1986, there were about 2,300 active practitioners in New Hampshire. Fast forward to 2013, and the number more than doubles to around 5,200. At the same time the population of lawyers was doubling, the number of potential clients in New Hampshire grew more slowly. Where there was one lawyer to every 400 non-lawyers 1986, the number is now closer to one lawyer to around 250 non-lawyers. Not quite a doubling of the competition, but close.

Yet, despite the growth in the population of lawyers and the greater potential efficiencies from technology, there is a large and growing number of people who need, but cannot afford, legal services as currently delivered and priced. It also has been said that lawyers are working harder today just to stay even with where they were ten years ago. Some will remember, for instance, when firms in New Hampshire ramped up the hourly requirements for associates to 1,400 hours per year, and today the work-load is even greater.

With change comes opportunity. There is a Hindu Proverb that says: “A man who misses his opportunity, and monkey who misses his branch, cannot be saved.” This year’s Midyear Meeting will grapple with impacts of the changing legal landscape and how we can collectively, profitably and effectively deliver legal services to a greater number of those with legal needs.

For the morning and afternoon CLE programs, we have gathered a group of highly sought after, leading-edge thinkers to discuss what it means to be a successful lawyer in the 21st century. In short, the Bar Association is working hard to make sure you grab the next proverbial branch (and maybe even get a bundle of bananas in the process). Don’t miss the opportunity.

Scott Harris is the NH Bar Association vice president and practices with McLane Middleton.

Integrity and trust

At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

Strength in numbers

McLane Middleton is made up of more than 105 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

Meet Our People

Commitment and collaboration

McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

Practice Areas

A history of excellence

McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

The Firm

Intelligence paired with action

Our team continuously seeks opportunities to enhance their professional development and put key learnings to action. The pursuit of further insight guides us to volunteer service opportunities, speaking engagements, and teaching roles. Our lawyers are sought after thought leaders across their industries, and recipients of leadership awards throughout the region.