Posts Categorized: Management

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 »

The “non-lawyer” gap in law firms: narrowing or widening?

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Management.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with several groups of law firm professionals this summer, principally in presentations to the Private Law Libraries Summit at the American Association of Law Libraries and the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference. In these venues, I’ve spoken to and heard from law librarians, knowledge managers, IT professionals, training… Read more »

The dying cult of the corner partner

Posted by & 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 »

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