Archived Posts

The stewardship crisis

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Filed under: Leadership

Over the legal news wire this week came a report of the closure of a US law firm. The full report of the firm’s demise was restricted to those with a premium account that I have no interest in acquiring, and in any event, the details of what happened weren’t relevant to what caught my… Read more »

Too many partners

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Filed under: Big Firms, Management

Law firms, facing a formidable array of external trends and pressures, are simultaneously experiencing a series of internal shocks and shakeups. The most prominent of these is an ongoing reconsideration of the role played by each member of the firm — a process of asking, “What function do you play in this enterprise, and could… Read more »


Learning to run

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Filed under: CLE, Law School, Talent

There’s an old expression among professional sports coaches: “You can’t teach speed.” It’s usually meant to indicate that there are things you can train athletes to do well (skills) and things that are simply God-given (raw talent), and it encourages the traditional view that talent is more valuable. I’ve come to believe differently. In most… Read more »

Seen and (on one occasion) heard

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Filed under: Law21

Before launching into a roundup of what I’ve written elsewhere, I wanted to let you know that I’ll be in Chicago next week for a series of meetings, in particular the College of Law Practice Management‘s 2011 Futures Conference at the University of Chicago-Kent College of Law. In addition to presiding over the 2011 InnovAction… Read more »



The decline and fall of law school

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Filed under: Law School

As every frustrated customer knows, there comes a time when you stop trying to negotiate with a stubborn supplier and start looking for alternatives. I think that time is just about here for the legal profession in its relationship with law schools. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you probably already know that… Read more »

At the crossroads of regulation

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Filed under: Governance

I respectfully suggest that we stop using the following lines from Henry VI Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2 in conversations about the modern legal profession: DICK: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. CADE: Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of… Read more »


We measure what we value

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Filed under: Big Firms, Publishing

People love lists. We love the choosiness, the ordering, the nice linear way they stack up or count down. There’s a reason why every cover of Cosmopolitan includes at least one numbered list. You think Stephen Covey would be a millionaire today if he’d merely written The Habits of Highly Successful People? You think we’d… Read more »

Goodbye to all that

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Filed under: Big Firms, Clients, Innovation, Technology

Last week, having written about the rise of online disruptors and the emergence of super-boutiques, I promised that the final entry in this de facto trilogy would identify how lawyers and law firms can ensure their profitability in this new environment. But then I spent three days at ILTA’s Rev-elation, the 2011 annual meeting of… Read more »


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