The below responses were provided by Tom Ryan and edited lightly for style.
What are some of your proudest achievements in 2019?
Laddey Clark & Ryan’s proudest achievement of 2019 was undoubtedly the celebration of our 30th anniversary. Bringing together our extended LCR “family” of attorneys, staff, clients and others was a testament to what we have been able to accomplish collectively through innovation, teamwork and commitment to our communities.
Innovation often refers to technology, but means more than that. What are some routes to effective innovation that might be overlooked?
In our experience, the most effective path to innovation is through 360-degree engagement—with our own attorneys and staff, as well as our clients and all those who we serve and with whom we do business.
The legal industry isn’t always known for its ability to innovate. Is that reputation fair or unfair, and why?
While it’s true that lawyers are not known for their innovation, I have found that the best way to explore new ideas is to open up two-way lines of communication. In this way, we can proactively reach out to those we deal with to share our thoughts, but, equally important, to listen to what they have to say.
What must the leaders of law firms and other organizations do to ensure they are being receptive to new ideas?
In my experience, lawyers are not always the best listeners. The lawyers who take the time to listen—whether it’s to their clients, their opponents or others they deal with—are the ones who are open to new ideas and who come up with new ideas themselves.