Posts Categorized: Competition

Decoupling price from cost in legal services

Posted by & filed under Billing, Competition, Technology.

Virtually all the talk these days in client circles is about the cost of legal services. It’s well established that institutional purchasers of these services are under great pressure to reduce costs by, for example, “taking bids, asking for discounts, shopping around for lower-cost options.” Patrick J. Lamb points out that many in-house lawyers don’t… Read more »

Core competence: 6 new skills now required of lawyers

Posted by & filed under Clients, Collaboration, Competition, Management, New Lawyers.

Up till now, the necessary and sufficient skill set for lawyers has looked something like this (in alphabetical order): Analytical ability Attention to detail Logical reasoning Persuasiveness Sound judgment Writing ability (okay, that one’s apparently optional for some) This list doesn’t include such characteristics as knowledge of the law, courtroom presence, or integrity — these… Read more »

Life after lawyers

Posted by & filed under Clients, Competition, Purpose.

We need to start thinking about what the post-lawyer justice system is going to look like. I can see how this might be an absurd or even heretical notion to some people. But there’s reason to believe that lawyers won’t be an essential part of the legal system in the future — and if so,… Read more »

Something’s actually happening

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Billing, Clients, Competition, Innovation, Leadership, Management.

There’s a lot of buzz building about an article in today’s New York Times with the rather odd title “Who’s Cuddly Now? Law Firms.” It summarizes a recent rash of new business models in American law firms, from flextime for lawyers to flat-fee bills for clients to alternative billable-hour schemes and more. It’s the second… Read more »

What clients want

Posted by & filed under Clients, Competition, Innovation, Technology.

What do lawyers sell? To this day, you’ll hear a lot of lawyers say, “The only thing I have to sell is my time.” That’s the wrong answer, not only because it encourages our unhealthy fixation on hourly billing, but also because most clients prefer to pay for as little of our time as possible…. Read more »

Going to town

Posted by & filed under Careers, Competition, Generations, Small Centers.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the numerous factors leading to the continuing contraction of the legal profession in smaller urban centers and in rural outposts. Here’s another one: competition for legal talent. Large-center practice is operating at unprecedented levels of profitability these days; even if small-center practices were still reasonably feasible, large-center… Read more »

21st-century legal innovation

Posted by & filed under Clients, Competition, Innovation.

This article was first posted at Slaw on September 25, 2006. I had the great fortune to attend the annual meeting of the College of Law Practice Management in San Francisco earlier this month. The topic of the day was at the heart of 21st-century lawyering: innovation. Specifically, why lawyers aren’t very good at it…. Read more »

Rage against the machine

Posted by & filed under Competition, Technology.

You’re surely familiar with those lists of famously bad technology predictions that make the rounds by e-mail every so often. One of the most commonly cited is Digital Equipment Chairman Ken Olsen’s 1977 observation: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Amusing, sure, but rarely quoted in the proper context…. Read more »

A to Z: 26 trends for the legal profession

Posted by & filed under Billing, Clients, Competition, Generations, Globalization, Innovation, Law School, Leadership, New Lawyers, Satisfaction, Technology.

This article was co-authored with Mélanie Raymond, then-Senior Editor of National, and appeared as the cover story in the April/May 2006 edition of the magazine. The legal profession is turning upside down, and many of the familiar landmarks are disappearing or bring replaced by brand-new structures. There are so many changes afoot that National’s editorial… Read more »

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