Posts Categorized: Management

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 »

Too many partners

Posted by & 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 »

Measuring lawyer productivity

Posted by & filed under Management.

Recently, Carolyn Elefant at Legal Blog Watch summarized an interesting debate over a question that many lawyers will soon be asking themselves. Let’s say your law practice succumbs to the logical and inevitable, stops routinely billing by the hour, and institutes other system(s) of pricing and selling your work. Query: do you still need to… Read more »

Trust and the marketing department

Posted by & filed under Management, Marketing.

Timothy Corcoran’s excellent and essential new blog tracks and expands upon a provocative article at the AmLaw Daily called “How essential is a CMO?” As many large firms scale back their marketing spending or lose their Chief Marketing Officers, Tim finds both lawyers and marketers can share some blame. I was especially drawn to this… Read more »

Get ready for the process era

Posted by & filed under Management.

You know the old expression, “Life’s not a destination, it’s a journey”? I have to say, it’s never worked for me. I’m all about the destination — the journey is the time-consuming necessity between Point A and Point B that I’d dispense with if I could. I don’t have much interest in the scenic route… Read more »

Rightsizing

Posted by & filed under Management.

The massive grocery superstore in my neighbourhood has something like 17 checkouts. Great, you might think — 17 lines, no waiting. But I do wait, often, behind two or three people usually, and it’s not because the store is bulging with shoppers at any given time. It’s because at least some of those checkouts are… Read more »

Staff cuts and short-term thinking

Posted by & filed under Management, Recession, Research.

That sound you hear is the rapidly accelerating crash of dominoes. The mainstream legal media is tracking, body blow by body blow, the shocking personnel reductions taking place at law firms throughout the US and UK. One after another, firms are laying off employees, and it seems each firm’s announcement gives three others the confidence… Read more »

The perils of squandering talent

Posted by & filed under Law School, Management, Talent.

Malcolm Gladwell has written a new book about the factors that most influence the likelihood that you’ll achieve (traditionally defined) career success.¬†Outliers: The Story of Success posits that much of what affects our success is out of our control, and that arbitrary or even trivial factors play a disproportionate role in what we end up… Read more »

Law firm capital and the financial crisis

Posted by & filed under Management.

I don’t normally link to articles in National, the magazine I edit — this blog is my personal project and doesn’t necessarily represent my employer’s views, and so I try to keep Law21 and CBA in watertight compartments. But I’m making an exception for our September 2008 cover story “Who owns the firm?“, which looks… Read more »

An overlooked recruitment opportunity

Posted by & filed under Management, Talent.

At a certain point, a market’s inability to correct an imbalance becomes a competitive advantage for others within that market. In that spirit, allow me to illustrate an imbalance that innovative law practitioners can exploit right now. We’ve all heard and said a great deal about how law firms need to better address the treatment… Read more »

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