Posts Categorized: Purpose

You say you want a revolution?

Posted by & filed under Innovation, Purpose.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m convinced of a couple of things: (1) Fundamental shifts in the legal services environment will spawn a  diverse population of new providers that will expand access to those services while destroying lawyers’ market exclusivity; and, (2) This is, on balance, a good… Read more »

Ready for the future? Your survival kit survey results

Posted by & filed under Careers, Purpose.

Previously on Law21 … last month, to be exact, I designed another survey for your consideration. This one was a good deal more complex than my first Law21 questionnaire, which simply asked you to prioritize 10 characteristics of a modern law firm. This time around, we postulated a “future legal survival kit,” giving you 15 features… 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 »

What do lawyers sell?

Posted by & filed under Clients, Purpose.

The first time I heard Richard Susskind speak was at a Canadian Bar Association conference in Montreal in 2007. That was also the first time I heard one of the best parables about professional services ever told. I’ll try to paraphrase Richard’s delivery from memory: “Black & Decker, the power tool company, had just hired… Read more »

Reinventing the right things

Posted by & filed under Purpose, Technology.

Warning: Lengthy Moral Philosophy Discussion Ahead. Worse luck for you, it’s from an English major who took exactly two Philosophy courses in undergrad and was entirely unsuccessful in trying to penetrate Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, so govern yourselves accordingly. But it’ll take us a few paragraphs before we get there. First, we talk technology…. Read more »

And the walls came down

Posted by & filed under Access, Purpose.

Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering a speech to the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), an innovative program headquartered at the University of Denver that addresses reforms to legal education, access to justice, and judicial selection. They had asked me for a presentation that would explain the challenges facing the… Read more »

The limited-profit law firm

Posted by & filed under Innovation, Purpose, Uncategorized.

What if your law firm were legally prohibited from making too much money? What if there were a fixed profit ceiling for equity partners, and any profit exceeding that amount had to be distributed to others? What if your firm explicitly placed social goals ahead of revenue goals — what would change about your firm’s… Read more »

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