Archived Posts

Generation eXit

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Filed under: Generations, New Lawyers

This, I’m reasonably certain, is the first Law21 post to start with: Spoiler Warning. It’s only fair to advise that if you haven’t seen the Joss Whedon horror thriller The Cabin In The Woods, and you plan to do so, then you should skip the rest of this post, because I’m about to give away… Read more »

Too big to succeed

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Filed under: Big Firms

(Note: This article is reprinted with permission from the July 10, 2012 issue of The Legal Intelligencer. © 2012 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.  All rights reserved.) What do we talk about when we talk about “BigLaw”? Let’s be honest: we’re not actually discussing specific law firms at all. We’re… Read more »


The dying cult of the corner partner

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management

Let’s start with an odd fact: the self-interest of a law firm is fundamentally opposed to the self-interest of its most powerful partners. Here’s how I see it. The more influence a lawyer wields over a given client, the more stature, leverage and tactical advantage that lawyer gains within his or her firm; these benefits… Read more »

Law school revolution

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Filed under: Law School

One of my favourite bumper stickers, back when such things were popular, read as follows: “Where are we going? And what’s with this handbasket?” If you’re involved in any aspect of legal education these days, or if you have even a passing interest in how law schools are doing their job, you might feel that… Read more »


The future of legal employment

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Filed under: New Lawyers

The American legal profession is on the verge of a full-blown jobs crisis. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over the course of this decade, 440,000 new law graduates will be competing for 212,000 jobs, a 48% employment level. The BLS’s projection does assume law school graduation rates will remain steady during that time,… Read more »

Losing the confidence game

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Filed under: Clients, Competition

Here are six observations about the legal marketplace for you to consider, each supported by a news report filed just in the last few days. 1. Fewer people want to be lawyers. Number of law school applicants continues to slide: “[US law school] applications submitted are down 13.6%…. That translates to about 66,696 applicants and… Read more »


Writing on the road

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Filed under: Law21

It’s been a few months since I last posted one of these roundups, so I thought I’d pull one together today. Here’s a series of articles I’ve written elsewhere or interviews I’ve given to various print and online periodicals. As usual, I’ve been busiest at Stem Legal‘s “Law Firm Web Strategy” blog, but I’ve also… Read more »

The limited-profit law firm

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Filed under: Innovation, Purpose, Uncategorized

What if your law firm were legally prohibited from making too much money? What if there were a fixed profit ceiling for equity partners, and any profit exceeding that amount had to be distributed to others? What if your firm explicitly placed social goals ahead of revenue goals — what would change about your firm’s… Read more »


Pricing to the client experience

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Filed under: Billing, Clients, Marketing

Many lawyers, gnawed by doubt, regularly ask themselves, “What should I charge?” It’s the question with a million right answers — which is to say, with no right answer at all. Whatever number you finally settle on, however, is less important than the process by which you arrived at it. As far as I can… Read more »

Rebundling the law firm

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Filed under: Big Firms, Solo & Small Firm

Perhaps most importantly, unbundling has the immensely positive effect of removing from lawyers our self-imposed burden of omnipotence. Our intense dislike of risk and our fervent striving for control has left us vulnerable to taking on more responsibility for our clients’ outcomes than we often should. The modern view of clients — one they share… Read more »


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