Posts Categorized: Purpose

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 »

Frugal innovation and the law

Posted by & filed under Clients, Innovation, Purpose.

Lawyers need to learn a very important lesson from a salad spinner.  Specifically, we need to understand the implications of the Sally Centrifuge, developed by students at Rice University in Texas: The necessary parts: one salad spinner, some hair combs, a yogurt container, plastic lids, and a glue gun. The finished product: a manual, push-pump… Read more »

The trusted advisor

Posted by & filed under Ethics, Purpose.

My collection of prized possessions is extremely small — the feature item is probably a ticket stub from Game 6 of the 1993 World Series (Joe Carter’s home run off Mitch Williams). Among that narrow collection, you’ll find a personally inscribed copy of David Maister’s last book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker, and if your… Read more »

All good things…

Posted by & filed under Clients, Purpose.

My newest column is up and running at Slaw, where I’m always honoured it has a place. You can also find it directly below: ============================================ “Eighty percent of the poor in the United States are unable to afford a lawyer or find pro bono help for their civil legal problems, according to the American Bar… Read more »

Spend wisely

Posted by & filed under Clients, Purpose.

One of the reasons — maybe the main reason — why lawyers are so risk-averse is that averting risk is kind of the whole point of having lawyers. People hire us for two reasons: (a) to fix a problem that’s already occurred, or (b) to arrange things so as to minimize or eliminate the risk… Read more »

The legacy of work-life balance

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

I think we’ll soon be closing the book on one of the legal profession’s most-used and least-understood phrases of the last decade: “work-life balance.” It was still all the rage just a couple of years ago — new lawyers invoked it as a mantra, talent recruiters bandied it about, and many legal publications (including those… Read more »

Lawyers as a public good

Posted by & filed under Law School, Purpose.

Thanks to San Diego lawyer and blogger Joseph Dang, I belatedly caught up with an article in California Lawyer magazine about the University of California at Irvine’s intention to launch a new law school this fall. If you’re not familiar with this plan, UC Irvine ambiti0usly aims to debut in the Top 20 rank of… Read more »

A few thoughts about Wall Street

Posted by & filed under Purpose.

Ottawa is a long way, literally and figuratively, from the financial core of the United States, and my wife is the economics major in the family. So I’m not going to pretend to have any insights to offer on the sucking chest wounds opening up on Wall Street these days. If you’re looking for good… Read more »

The day after tomorrow

Posted by & filed under Purpose.

As Patrick J. Lamb of Valorem Law Firm reminds us, change is inevitable once a marketplace has decided to do things differently. In a week in which the American Bar Association not only gave offshoring a passing grade but positively embraced it (Ron Friedmann and Russell Smith contribute their thoughts), and in which the prospect… Read more »

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