Happy New Year!  The last few months have been a whirlwind of travel and new projects, but—as January draws to a close—I wanted to take a quick minute to look back and reflect on what we’ve done over the last year and map out a little of what we expect to do in 2018.

It’s been an immensely fun and exciting past year with B&B.  We launched our “Legal Tech & Innovation” content category, our podcast, and seven new “Associate Success & Development” series—including our “Tips for Law Students” and our incredibly popular nascent “Diversity & Inclusion.”

Here are a just a few 2017 highlights:

Legal Tech & Innovation

We kicked off our “Legal Tech & Innovation” content in connection with Legalweek 2017 and laid the foundation for a wide range of important conversations about the state of legal technology and innovation that so drastically impacts the lives and livelihoods of today’s lawyers.  And, though not formally associated with Blacklines & Billables, 2017 saw the immensely successful launch of the NYC Legal Tech Meetup, including a fantastic “Blockchain Basics & Legal Use Cases” and first NYCLTM “Demo Day.”

The Podcast

Over the summer, we launched the Blacklines & Billables podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.  It’s been a blast to explore the world of podcasting and record our first eight episodes, and it’s been so refreshing to have the ability to take a deeper, longer-form dive into the important themes raised on the blog with a range of brilliant thinkers in an interactive format.  Our most popular episodes to date?  On the Associate Success side of the house, our panel on callback interview tips for law students applying to law firms has been our number one episode!  And on the legal tech side of the house, the most popular episode to date has been our chat with Nextlaw Labs CEO Dan Jansen.

Associate Success & Development

In 2017, we broke ground on the following seven content series—each designed to provide another perspective on the associate experience and provide law student and lawyers with a new lens through which to evaluate their careers and career trajectory:

  • View from the Top
  • View from the Client Side
  • Tips for Summer Associates
  • Tips for Law Students
  • Exit Options
  • Quick Tips
  • Diversity & Inclusion

Our most popular Associate Success posts of the year came from our most recently launched series, focused on Diversity & Inclusion, with our top post being “Advice (I Wish I Had Been Given) for Women Starting Careers in Biglaw,” followed closely by “Best Practices for Minority Biglaw Associates.”

What to Expect for 2018

We’re very excited to build on the foundations laid in 2017 to continue incorporating more voices, and more diverse perspectives, on the blog in 2018.

A few priorities for the coming months

Given the incredible response to our early Diversity & Inclusion programming, we’ll be focusing on building out that content category with additional resources and perspectives.

We’ll also be bringing you lots of new podcast episodes.  Given the popularity of our Callback Interview Q&A panel, we’ve already got a few more panels in the works.  And we’ll be kicking off the year with a few great legal tech-focused episode episodes, including a forthcoming interview with the head of Mishcon de Reya’s MDR LAB in London and a “Voices from Legalweek 2018” episode that we’ll be recording at Legalweek 2018 in the next few days.

We plan to continue rounding out our advice relating to the whole associate experience by continuing to provide guidance for law students just entering the practice world, as well as by building out our “Exit Options” series, which will help associates looking to make a professional change by sharing the experiences of those who successfully navigated firm exits.

And, with respect to all of content series, we’ll be focusing on further diversifying and enriching the range of voices and perspectives represented on the blog, which means we’ll be working with lots of new guest writers.  If you know of someone (including yourself!) whose voice would make a valuable contribution to the conversations of our community, please reach out to us—we’d love to include them.

Finally, there are a few new projects and other developments in the offing that aren’t quite ripe for announcement, but stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the coming weeks!

We can’t wait for the year ahead.  Thank you for being a part of our community.  Spread the word, and let us know what we can do to help provide you with the tips, tricks, and guidance you need most!

Many thanks,