Posts Categorized: Big Firms

Reinventing the associate

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, New Lawyers, Talent.

Last week’s post, “The decline of the associate and the rise of the law firm employee,” wasn’t just my longest Law21 title on record. It also triggered a detailed response from Toby Brown of 3 Geeks, to which I left a lengthy comment and which in turn inspired a further comment from Susan Hackett of… Read more »

The decline of the associate and the rise of the law firm employee

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Careers, New Lawyers, Talent.

Earlier this month, Greenberg Traurig became the latest large US firm to take a new approach to its legal talent. Rather than firing secretaries or de-equitizing partners, however, as is all the rage elsewhere, Greenberg proposed something different and potentially groundbreaking: the introduction of a “residency” program for new associates. Here’s how the Am Law… Read more »

Death to “Profit Per Partner”

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Finance, Management, Purpose.

It’s time for law firms to junk “average Profit Per Partner” (PPP) as a measure of profitability and success. Past time, actually: our continued adherence to this shallow and self-centred metric is a prime contributor to the BigLaw existential crisis we’ve been reading so much about lately. By using PPP as the primary (if not… Read more »

The secretarial canary in the law firm coal mine

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Management, Purpose.

“A really far-sighted law firm would give its secretaries the chance to ‘skill up’ and take on more responsibility, accomplishing more advanced tasks. … Change ‘secretary’ to ‘workflow manager’ or ‘logistics director,’ and you’ve accomplished three great things at once: increased the role of software in handling clerical and financial duties, reassigned your valuable secretarial help… Read more »

Vulture culture

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Management.

Tackling this subject, I admit, may simply be an excuse to achieve a long-held goal of using an Alan Parsons Project album as a post title. (Next up: finding a way to smuggle in a Supertramp reference.) But in truth, I was pointed in this direction by a couple of recent developments that revisited the… Read more »

The lawyer vs. the law firm

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Globalization, Management.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about law firm mergers lately (especially between large Canadian firms and their much larger international counterparts). That in turn has led me to think about cross-selling, why it’s so important to the success of these newly merged firms (and others), and about the relative failure of firms to make… Read more »

Why is your law firm merging?

Posted by & filed under Big Firms.

What do you think of when you read the phrase “a large law firm”? What type of law firm comes into your mind? How many lawyers does it have? In how many jurisdictions is it located? What is its annual turnover? How you answer these questions will vary according to your own market and how… Read more »

Law firm profits in the process era

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Process, Talent.

Large and midsize law firms appear to have an “expenses problem.” Profit is weak, flat or in decline at many midsize and large law firms, says the Hildebrandt Institute. It reports that demand slacked noticeably in the second quarter of 2012 following decent but uneven growth in the first quarter. More problematically, however, expenses soared… Read more »

Walking away from a losing game

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Clients, Law School, Publishing.

And suddenly, everyone’s talking about Procurement. Not that long ago, warning lawyers about the rise of the corporate purchasing function was a little like a medieval parent telling their children about the goblin who lived under the floorboards: you’d better behave, or he’ll come and eat you up. Now the goblin is loose: Procurement’s importance… Read more »

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