AdvanceLaw: Year in Review Haiku and 2022 Preview

We have always done a Year in Review because we want you to know how AdvanceLaw initiatives are going. We’ve also got a lot of big things planned for 2022 that I want to write about, but I’m convinced letters like this should be short. Oh what to do?

I mentioned this to the team, and they came back to me with a solution: the Year in Review Haiku.

So much legal work
Lawyer reviews abounded
Endless Zoom calls, oy

Next year perhaps they’ll write a sonnet, which would allow for a little more elaboration. But the haiku sure captures the spirit of 2021: hundreds of matters in 38 countries and at least as many U.S. states, lots of lawyer reviews from member companies to help us build our intel on the best lawyers for particular matters, great work done by AdvanceLaw firms for our member companies, and a continued focus on identifying best-fit diverse counsel as a daily aspect of our work. And of course, a lot of Zoom calls.

We can’t wait to see each of you in person. Let’s pencil that in for 2022.

2022 Preview – Three Things We’re Excited About

We’re excited about a lot of things AdvanceLaw will do in 2022 – but we want to focus on the core work we do for our members. Here are three things worth spotlighting.

#1: Managing (More) Law Firm Panels

We’ve written before about our collaboration with DXC and Honeywell, both of whom, along with Flex and Peabody, entrusted us with the bulk of their panel development and law firm management work in 2020 or earlier. In 2021, four more companies joined them as AdvanceLaw panel clients, bringing our total number of panel companies to eight. Others are in conversation with us about making this move, but we’re being careful to grow this service in an orderly way so there’s a limit to how many we’ll add in a year. That said, let us know if you’d like to talk about it – we’re excited about this direction for AdvanceLaw, not least because it allows us to work so closely with such amazing people.

#2: AdvanceLaw Digital

Early last year, AdvanceLaw was acquired by Mitratech, a leading legal software company. As we said at the time, the logic of that move was to bring tech capabilities into AdvanceLaw that are becoming mandatory as the legal market digitizes. In 2022, we’re looking to bring tech to the forefront.

AdvanceLaw Digital will feature a curated online directory of featured lawyers. Why not start with all the AdvanceLaw lawyers? Our network is 10,000 lawyers and growing, and we aren’t trying to rebuild Martindale-Hubbell here. In fact, what our members appreciate about AdvanceLaw is that we are particular about who we recommend, offering the best-fit lawyer for every matter with conflicts cleared and firm leadership engaged and supporting the work. So the directory, now in development, will show lawyers working in the practice areas we know our members need the most, and about whom we have the most information through peer reviews and our own staff’s experience. It will grow as we grow.

#3: Lawyer Diversity Data Analysis

Many of us have learned to love data analysis almost as much as our resident legal eccentric, Dan Currell, learned to love manually Shepardizing cases in law school. In 2021, we used those skills to analyze some of our members’ legal spend data for diversity characteristics. We’ll be doing more of it in 2022.

Most companies we work with have diversity expectations for their law firm spending, and many have discussed how to be more intentional about lawyer diversity. (See, e.g., our recent discussion with Flex’s GC, Scott Offer, about halfway in). But we find that many companies are stuck because they don’t know how their legal spend breaks down in terms of diversity, so moving forward is hard to do. The graphic below gives you a feel for the kind of analysis we’ve done with some member companies’ data.

Let us know if you’d be interested in working with us on this sort of thing – we’d love to help.

If you’re interested in any of the items or ideas above – or if you have an idea of how we can be serving the AdvanceLaw membership in a new or different way this year – please don’t hesitate to contact me at 202.466.7742 or

Yours –

Mike Williams

General Manager, AdvanceLaw

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