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4 Government Officials on Faculty

U.S. Attorney’s Office, S.D.N.Y.; OFAC, U.S. Treasury; FBI;

and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce



       Headline Issues for 2024:

Leadership Challenges in this Time of Uncertainty

  •       What are the Prospects for a Strong Year in 2024?

  •        Rethinking How Leadership Has Changed

  •       Culture and Tone at the Top: Leading Effectively in These Challenging Times

  •        Talent Strategies for 2024: Recruitment, Retention and Integration of Lateral Partners and All Levels of Associates

  •       Client Service Priorities

  •      Real Estate Needs


Key Themes of the 2024 Conference:

  • Leadership is key to success and is more important than ever.  In 2024 the challenges have moved away from COVID to implementing a “new new” normal. 

  • Will 2024 be more or less disruptive as the use of AI increases?  Our panel of experts will discuss short term and long term AI planning and decision making.

  • “Law firm leaders need to balance risk and opportunity”* With demand and productivity declining, firms need to right-size their legal service delivery and minimize cost. However, preparing for the advent of legal generative AI requires large investments.

  • Does global growth and expansion in 2024 mean growing in the U.S.?  Where to grow and where to stay the course matters.

  • Are law firm mergers here to stay?  In 2023 the merger of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling was consummated.  However, in recent years, many firm leaders have been hesitant to pull the trigger on mergers.

  • What have we learned from the implementation of more permanent “in office” and “work from home” strategies?  We will focus on where, how and when we work in office and at home.   

  • Increased cost of capital and rise in interest rates have a definite effect on profitability. What steps is your firm taking to control rising costs?

Hear From Your Peers on These Top-of-Mind Issues

22 Chairs, Managing Partners and Lawyer Leaders on Faculty Plus Corporate Counsel, Advisors

Ann Cook, Formerly, Vice Chair & General Counsel, Americas & US, Ernst & Young, New York

Rose Corbett, Managing Director, Macrae, Inc., New York

David Cunningham, Chief Innovation Officer, Reed Smith LLP, Houston

John Douglas, Chief Legal, Risk and Compliance Officer, TIAA, New York

Richard F. Hans, Partner, Managing Partner, Vertical Operations, Global Co-Chair, Financial Services, DLA Piper, New York

Avi Gesser, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York

Anna R. Gressel, Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York

Ann Kappler, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Prudential Financial, Newark, NJ

Brad S. Karp, Chairman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York

Matt Kelly, Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York

William G. Malley, Managing Partner, Perkins Coie LLP, Washington, D.C.

Peter Martelli, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, New York

Ted Mayer, Chairman, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, New York

Nicole Levin Mesard, Deputy Presiding Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York

William Perlstein, Senior Managing Director, Vice-Chair, Client Services, FTI Consulting, Washington, D.C. (Moderator)

Michael Raposa Jr., Senior Vice President – North America, RR Donnelley, Boston

Cynthia Romano, Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting, New York

Michael J. Schmidtberger, Chair, Executive Committee, Sidley Austin LLP, New York

Andrew Sussman, Vice Chairman, CBRE, Inc., New York

Margaret E. Tahyar, Head of Financial Institutions Group, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, New York

F. Joseph Warin, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, D.C.

Stephen D. Zubiago, CEO and Managing Partner, Nixon Peabody, Boston

Program Highlights:

9:00 a.m.  – 1:30 p.m. EST

  • State of the Market: Leaders Panel

    • What’s the outlook for 2024?  Any signs yet of pickup on deal flow or capital markets?

    • How did 2023 end?  Citi reported demand was flat through three quarters and that collections were lagging.  How did the year end?

    • Stroock joined the list of long-time firms that have dissolved in the past few years

      • Stroock had more than 200 lawyers just two years ago.  There has to be a place for firms below the AmLaw 100.  What thoughts on how medium and smaller firms can survive and thrive?

    • How do law firm leaders expect AI to affect their firms?

    • Lateral movement: how does the churn affect law firm planning?  How do you know that those who are planning will be there to execute?

  • Maintaining Firm Culture -- Law firms have been subjected to many forces affecting their culture.

    • What has been the impact of political polarization on law firm culture?

      • Should law firms be commenting on social events?  If yes, how to decide which ones and what to say?

      • Do firms have policies on representing potentially polarizing groups, whether political or social?

        • Who decides?

      • Can lawyers decline to work on polarizing matters?

    • How has hybrid work affected the maintenance of firm culture?

    • How important is culture to a firm in a world of hybrid work, lateral movement, and increasing polarization?

  • Client Perspective--What Clients Want?

    • With all the lateral movement, how much are retention decisions determined by the particular partner and how much by the firm where he/she is practicing?

      • When your relationship partner moves firms, how do you decide whether to stick with the partner or with the former firm?

      • When such a move occurs, what’s the process at the client for making that decision?

    • From the client’s perspective, what’s your view of the impact of AI on delivery of legal services in the next two years?  Five years?

      • How are clients using AI in their legal departments?

      • Is AI likely to impact billing practices from your perspective?

    • Client Feedback

      • How often do firm leaders seek your feedback?

      • When they do, what do you find most useful in that meeting?

  • State of AI in law firm practices

    • How are firms using AI today?

      • Is it being used for client facing work?  For internal processes?

      • What use cases seem most promising?

      • What are the biggest risks and concerns?

      • How will lawyers be trained to use AI?

    • Knowledge management has always been a challenge in law firms: does AI offer a means of improving it?

  • Firm Operations Issues

    • Real estate: are firms looking to shrink or simply change their footprints?

    • How are firms using AI to reduce costs internally?

    • Lateral movement: what are the best ways to integrate new hires in a world of hybrid work?

*, September 08, 2023

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