This has been a very busy, complex year with regard to the law. But before we turn the page to 2018, a group of industry thought leaders have gathered to discuss issues facing the profession in the year to come with a Westlaw Journals Special Report from the Legal News team.

The editors cast a wide net, asking experts the open-ended question: “What are the trends, challenges and solutions facing the legal profession as 2017 turns to 2018?”

And the answers we got back were varied, to say the least…

Among the top issues were technology (no surprise there), specifically data security and innovation. Diversity, ethics, collaboration and performance ranked as well. And one law school dean shared how “incubator” programs for new lawyers may be the path forward for a new generation of practitioners.

Among the highlights of the report:

  • Your bitcoin or your business: The growing threat of ransomware across industries

By Seth Harrington, Esq., Ira Parghi, Esq., and Wesley Dodd, Esq., Ropes & Gray

  • The cybersecurity legal landscape

By Joel Wuesthoff, Esq., Robert Half Legal

  • Data breach notifications: The state of the nation

By Avani Desai, Schellman & Co.

  • ‘Crown jewel’ programs and other law firm cybersecurity strategies

A Q&A with Tim McKnight, Chief Information Security Officer, Thomson Reuters

  • The case for smart collaboration

By Heidi Gardner, Ph.D., Harvard Law School

  • Legal incubators help new lawyers, increase access to legal services

By Martin Pritikin, Concord Law School

  • Diversity in Big Law: Are we there yet?

By Michelle Crockett, Esq., Miller Canfield

  • A holistic approach to true law firm diversity

By Christopher A. Pickett, Esq., Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale

  • Collaboration, communication and data: 11 principles of law firm innovation

By Gabe Teninbaum, Suffolk University Law School

  • The case for amending conflict-related outside counsel guidelines

By Noah D. Fiedler, Esq., Hinshaw & Culbertson

  • Liquid Legal: Transforming an industry toward high performance

By Dierk Schindler, Ph.D., NetApp


For more insights from these contributors and more, visit Westlaw Journals and Practitioner Insights on Westlaw.

Many thanks go to our colleagues from across Thomson Reuters who helped with the issue, especially those with the Legal Executive Institute and Forum Magazine, and Chief Information Security Officer Tim McKnight who did the Q&A with our editors.

Happy New Year!