Press Release: Andrew G. Finkelstein, Managing Partner at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP., Part of Distinguished Panel at Harvard Law School

press release

NEW YORKMarch 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Andrew G. Finkelstein, managing partner of the law offices of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, one of the nation’s oldest and largest personal injury law firms, recently participated in a panel discussion on “Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services” at Harvard Law School’s March conference.  Joining Finkelstein on the panel were other recognized legal experts including Incoming President of the American Bar Association, William Hubbard, Director of Policy at Cooperative Legal Services, Christina Blacklaws, Chief Executive of UK Legal Services Board, Chris Kenny, and Chairman of Deloitte Legal, Ian Tod.

As a panel member, Finkelstein addressed the issue of non-lawyer ownership of law firms in the United States. “Prohibiting non-lawyers from having an ownership stake in U.S. law firms inhibits a firm’s opportunities for growth and change,” said Finkelstein. “The silos that attorneys are forced to stay within stifle innovation and as a result limit access to legal assistance for many who need it.”

Finkelstein, who believes excluding non-lawyer investment in law firm ownership is unconstitutional, has begun challenging this statute in court. “80 percent of the poor in this country do not have access to legal services,” said Finkelstein. “We must be responsive to the need and make service more accessible – looking at new ways to do things so that more may be served is at the heart of what disruptive innovation is all about,” added Finkelstein.

In his letter inviting Mr. Finkelstein to participate in the prestigious law school’s conference, David Wilkins, Harvard Law School’s Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, wrote, “I am writing to invite you to join us as one of a very select group of leaders of law, business, government, and academia … As a pioneering leader in a rapidly changing legal services industry, we can imagine no one more suited to participate as a speaker on one of our panel discussions.”

The theory of disruptive innovation was first coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen, who will deliver the keynote address at the conference. As stated on the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation website (, the disruptive innovation theory explains the phenomenon by which an innovation transforms an existing market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability where complication and high cost are the status quo. Initially, a disruptive innovation is formed in a niche market that may appear unattractive or inconsequential to industry incumbents, but eventually the new product or idea completely redefines the industry.

More than 250 disruptors, innovators, lawyers, corporate leaders, and other thought leaders from around the world participated in the conference.

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Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP