Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 21

president from 2010 to 2011. He is currently vice president for legal affairs,
general counsel, and corporate secretary of the Legal Services Corporation.
Over the course of his career, Flagg has noted several major changes in the legal
profession. One is increased diversity, with women and people of color taking
on more roles throughout the profession; another is greater availability of information about law firms and lawyers. Thanks to the internet and the push for
transparency, prospective clients can now more easily learn what firms have
to offer. Likewise, attorneys entering the job market find it easier to investigate
different niches available in the profession.
With information just a keystroke away, Flagg says that competition has
intensified substantially over the past 40 years. Clients are far more willing to
switch counsel and encourage competition for their business, while firms are
vying for the best new talent. New lawyers are facing an increasingly competitive job market.
"More information and more competition are generally good, but there are side
effects, which are not always ideal," says Flagg. "A more competitive marketplace has generally led to more stress."

RONALD FLAGG

Inside the Bar, Flagg is encouraged by its increasing diversity, and he hopes the
organization will continue to identify and provide practice tips for attorneys in
solo or small practices, as well as opportunities to network.

Arriving in the District of Columbia in 1980, former D.C. Bar President Ronald
Flagg began work at the U.S. Department of Justice before joining Sidley Austin
LLP, where he handled general and regulatory litigation for 31 years and served
as chair of the firm's pro bono committee. Flagg has also worked closely with
the D.C. Bar, serving on the Board of Governors from 2007 to 2009, and as

With the changing legal landscape, Flagg says the Bar must remain steadfast to
its core values, notably service to clients and commitment to access to justice.
"The D.C. Bar should be a leader and a convener in promoting its core values,
including providing pro bono counsel to people who cannot afford lawyers
and making the courts more hospitable and accessible to those who are unrepresented," he says.

Public Interest Law Champion

SHAVON SMITH
Business Lawyer

Shavon Smith began practicing in 2005 and became a member of the D.C. Bar
in 2008. After several years at a large firm, she launched her own practice, the SJS
Law Firm, in 2014 representing business owners and entrepreneurs in the District
of Columbia and Maryland. Smith says the D.C. Bar provided her incredible
guidance at the beginning of her career, particularly through the D.C. Bar Pro
Bono Center, giving her opportunities to gain vital trial and client experience.
Smith also relied on the D.C. Bar Practice Management Advisory Service,
attending its Basic Training and Beyond class and Successful Small Firm Practice
course to gather valuable knowledge prior to launching her firm.
"I think the Bar does a very good job of staying on top of trends and providing
educational opportunities to members," says Smith. "More importantly, I think
the Bar has understood that the business of the practice of law is just as important as the substance of law, and I don't necessarily get that from other bars that
I am a member of."
Lawyers must have these important skills to adapt to the changing practice of
law, Smith says, especially as technology has paved the way for the unbundling
of legal services. Today, clients have a greater choice over what type of information or legal assistance they need, says Smith, bypassing some of the services
a firm could provide.
Another legal trend that Smith has noticed: the rise of the entrepreneurial
lawyer, one who not only can manage legal matters but also has the business
acumen to handle other tasks that go beyond the law, including management,
marketing, branding, and public relations.

The boutique law firm will continue to stake its claim on the market, Smith says,
and the Bar should keep an eye on this growing segment. She adds that smaller
firms are increasingly globalizing, working outside the United States on matters
such as staffing, exporting work, and company partnerships.
"Smaller firms can mobilize quickly and be nimble, and I think that can be an
advantage versus larger firms," says Smith. "I definitely see smaller firms with
niche practices taking some market from larger firms."
*

JULY/AUGUST 2019

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER

21


https://www.dcbar.org/

Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Bar Business: Annual Report
Member Spotlight
Enforcing the Rules feature
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Enforcing the Rules feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 28
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Bar Business: Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 48
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 51
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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