In a unique initiative this June throughout North America, decision makers at law firms across the United States and in Toronto, Canada are joining in a collective conversation about how to address the dramatic shift in the legal industry caused by the recession and to consider creative techniques for reinventing their businesses in the recovery.

Led by industry analyst, Ari Kaplan, author of the newly released,Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace (Wiley, June 28, 2011), and supported by Chicago, IL-based, Big Hand, the global leader in voice productivity technology, law firm leaders are participating in an invitation-only series of discussions entitled “Recovery, Renewal and Reinvention: Navigating the Next Decade.”

“The business of providing professional advice is changing,”says Kaplan, who characterizes the market shift in various professions,including legal, medical, accounting, architecture, banking and others, in his new book.  “To survive in this new environment, organizations and their leaders must implement a more dynamic,accessible and transparent approach to client service,” he adds. 

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One of the leaders Kaplan profiled is Dr. Gabriel Pivawer, a resident of Short Hills, who co-founded Valor Network to provide teleradiology services to U.S. veterans, service members, and their families.  Other individuals featured in Reinventing Professional Services include a diverse cross-section of experts from AON Hewitt, Avvo, Axiom, Black Rock, Cozen O’Connor, Craigslist, Disney, Eden McCallum, Expedia, FMC Technologies,Greenberg Traurig, HARO, JP Morgan Chase & Co., LinkedIn, Marcum LLP, MD Anderson Cancer Center, MF Global, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, Rocket Lawyer, Royal Veterinary College, Texas Children’s Hospital, Yahoo!, and Zillow.

On tour, he is identifying how attendees can leverage technology to raise their profiles and that of their organizations, build collaborative communities with the specific people they are trying to meet and effectively reinvent their approach to business, staff and career development in the recovery.

Among other suggestions, Kaplan encourages leaders of professional services firms to put their businesses through what he describes in his book as a “wind tunnel” to streamline and build efficiency.  He is also advocates the use of a micro-SWOT analysis to evaluate the strength of small practice groups, as well as entire institutions.  To address the commoditization of many professional services, he is prompting audience members to leverage technology to more effectively target strategic business opportunities and to realign their operations by piloting new proposals on amore frequent basis.

Leading law firms are hosting events in: NYC, Washington,Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis,Toronto, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The combined influence of key law firm representatives in North America and technology innovator Big Hand, along with additional support from Philips, Nuance Communications (makers of Dragon dictation solutions), FTI Technology, Kiersted Systems, kCura, Westlaw Next, and Fios, make this a watershed series in the legal community.


About Ari Kaplan

Millburn resident, Ari Kaplan, is the principal of Ari Kaplan Advisors, a professional services consultancy that offers strategic business development guidance and training, copywriting services, and industry research.  In addition to presenting at over 40 law schools and colleges, numerous law firms across theU.S., and many legal organizations, including as the 2010 keynote speaker for the ABA Tech show, he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog,on CNN, and on CNET Radio.  John Wiley & Sons has just released his new book, Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace, which offers ideas for addressing the shift in various industries, including legal, medical, accounting, architecture, banking and others.  Learn more at  and