When I was in early high school there was nothing I loved to do more than rent movies. A
Saturday bike ride to Blockbuster to pick up the “three movies, four nights, five dollar special” left a vivid impression in my mind. Almost as vivid as humming along to my favorite Pink Floyd MP3 on my truly indispensable iPod as I trekked through winter snow on my way to Michigan State’s law college. Lastly and most recent are the pre-children memories of going to the mailbox and finding our latest Netflix DVD, which for a period of time seemed like a weekly event. If you had told me at the time that in a few short years, Blockbuster would be no more, that no one would use an iPod, and that none of my TVs would even have a DVD player, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Apple and Netflix were prepared to change. Apple and Netflix were innovative and disruptive
in their respective fields. The functions of the iPod merged into the incredibly indispensable
iPhone and Netflix streams directly into my house. Blockbuster was late to their “industry party”
and results were devastating.
Industry changes create a fork in the road and those of us working in any capacity in the default
industry stand at that fork. As default attorneys, how do we continue to represent our clients
with the same level of service, quality, and integrity as the volume of our work reaches decade lows?
Some companies, both law firms and vendors in our industry have chosen to use this time to
be innovative and disrupt how they operate. New technology vendors are emerging in our field
allowing us to leverage technology for greater efficiency. I have heard from many members that are researching or participating in Six Sigma training to better position their operation. Others have discussed opportunities to leverage both their legal and compliance expertise across other legal disciplines on behalf of the financial institutions many of our members represent.
On the evening of June 21st and all day June 22nd, the Legal League 100 Advisory Council
convened for our annual “face-to-face” advisory meeting. The Council discussed many avenues
to assist our membership with technical innovation, expense reduction, and also ways to support
those members interested in offering ancillary legal services.
Without innovation and disrupting our normal course of business, we could all end up in
a similar position as Blockbuster. It’s time for us all to take a page out of Steve Jobs’ playbook
and evolve. In the mid and late 2000s we saw the greatest innovations our industry has ever experienced. It is time to do it again.
NEIL R. SHERMAN, Schneiderman & Sherman, P.C. Chairman–Legal League 100
Neil R. Sherman is Managing Attorney of Schneiderman & Sherman, P.C.
He joined the firm in 2002 focusing his practice in the areas real estate
law, and specifically bankruptcy, foreclosure, and eviction processes. Sherman currently oversees
all aspects of the firm’s operations including, but not limited to, the firm’s foreclosure, bankruptcy,
eviction, REO, title, and litigation departments. Sherman is a licensed title agent and regularly speaks
on legal issues affecting the lending community. He can be reached at 248.415.0530 or nsherman@