Archives: Law Firm Leadership

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Linklaters to Measure Teams Rather than Individuals: Exciting Model for Our Time

In a post at Legal Business, Matthew Field reports that Linklaters is about to “phase out individual partner metrics and annual assessments to focus on broader measures of team and firm performance.” The new performance-assessment strategy will focus on such areas as “client winning, business development, training and innovation,” Field says. Based in London, Linklaters … Continue Reading

Law Firm Success Depends on Success of Firm’s Lawyers

I was pleased to be invited by The Law Office Management Association (TLOMA) of Ontario to create an article based on my book, The Successful Lawyer: Powerful Strategies for Transforming Your Practice, for the February, 2017 issue of the association’s publication, TLOMA Today. The article I submitted, “Drive Law Firm Success by Helping Each Lawyer Succeed,” offers guidelines … Continue Reading

J+O Firm: Where Start-Ups Utilize Legal Counsel in New Ways

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.  ~ Steve Jobs Rachel Johnson and Christina Oshan spent the beginning of their careers at large firms. They noticed that startups and emerging growth companies engaged with their legal teams using a different … Continue Reading

Exciting Breaking News – Transatlantic Merger Creates Global Top 40 Giant: Eversheds Sutherland

On Friday, two major firms I have deeply respected for many years – Eversheds, the global powerhouse based in London, and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, the exemplary American firm based in Atlanta  – announced a merger that changes the multinational legal game. I have known and watched both firms for a long time. Mark Wasserman, long-time managing partner of … Continue Reading

The Successful Lawyer – Now Available on your Computer, Tablet or Smartphone

The Second Edition of The Successful Lawyer: Powerful Strategies for Transforming Your Practice is now available in both paperback and Kindle versions. Among the kudos the first edition of this book attracted was one from Tom Peters, the highly acclaimed writer on business-management practice and author of In Search of Excellence, who described The Successful Lawyer … Continue Reading

Is the billable hour turning off talented young lawyers?

In an article published in the Globe and Mail earlier this month, Allison Speigel, a commercial litigator with Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, argues convincingly that the billable hour may be at the root of the disaffection of so many recent law graduates with firm-related work. Among Speigel’s arguments against the profession’s most cherished and wide-spread billing system are ones we … Continue Reading

Alternative Legal Providers: A Warning to Law Firms

Friedrich Blase, Global Director in Legal Managed Services at Thomson Reuters, is warning traditional law firms – especially the larger ones – of the potential threat to their existence of alternative legal providers, including the growing range of legal-market ventures and forms of disruptive technology. Blase believes that alternative legal providers could present an “existential threat” to law firms as early as 2020. Blase says that large firms … Continue Reading

Retaining Associates with Potential: The Coaching Circle

In a recent article in Practice Innovations Newsletter, Jane DiRenzo Pigott, Managing Director of R3 Group LLC in Chicago, highlights a problem faced increasingly by law firms: how to retain associates with promise and potential who are likely to be courted by other firms. She proposes the “coaching circle” as a strategy to help firms avoid the loss of their valuable young lawyers. The Problem Pigott points … Continue Reading

Addressing the Generational Divide

Statistics show that vast majority of managing partners in law firms in America are older (and usually male) members of the baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1955. Many lawyers from this demographic are hanging onto their practices well past the traditional age of retirement, and this phenomenon is leading to an age imbalance that could put … Continue Reading

Report warns that traditionally structured law firms could fall behind within a decade

A February 2016 “Insight Report” from Deloitte takes a close look at the future of the practice of law in the UK, and urges firms to make plans immediately to prepare for changes that are likely to upend the entire profession within a decade. “Indeed, by around 2020,” says the report, “we expect a tipping point for firms which will impact … Continue Reading

Will greed spell doom for the world’s largest law firms?

Legal-issues writer Elizabeth Olson tackled the subject of the legal profession’s generational divide in “Graying Firms Wrestle with Making Room for Younger Lawyers,” an article recently published in the New York Times. “If any discipline is a window into the debate about balancing short-term profits over long-term survival,” Olson wrote, “it is the legal profession, one of … Continue Reading

Making Difficult Decisions

An article by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Review will interest anyone faced with making a decision from among a range of equally appealing (or unappealing) options  – which, of course, happens to most of us all the time. Such deliberations can range from the relatively trivial, like deciding what to have for lunch, to the significant, such as determining how best to broach a difficult … Continue Reading

December, 2015 issue of Edge International Communiqué now available online

I am pleased to draw the attention of readers of this blog to the most recent issue of Edge International Communiqué (EIC). The issue features articles by two of my colleagues at Edge International, as well as one that I wrote. Nick Jarrett-Kerr offers advice on choosing effective law-firm leadership teams, and Mike White discusses some “closing” strategies that … Continue Reading

“Daring to be human” in job interviews. What do you think?

Lars Dalgaard is a venture capitalist with a track record of entrepreneurial success. He sold his last company, SuccessFactors, for $3 billion. In recent interviews, Dalgaard has set himself apart from his peers with his emphasis on establishing a personal connection with employees. In a Business Insider article, Eugene Kim quotes Dalgaard as saying, “We … Continue Reading

The “Start With Why” Approach

In a recent post, Patrick Lamb of the Valorem Law Group talks about one of the most-watched-ever TED Talk videos, Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” – nicknamed “Start With Why.” Lamb explains that in the video, “Sinek compellingly argues that why an organization exists is more important to its success than what it does … Continue Reading

So, you make the best saddle on the market….

When I am working with law firms that seem to be falling behind the times, and I want to remind those firms of the disruptive effect of new technologies on the legal landscape, I like to introduce the metaphor of the saddle maker. Prior to the mid-1800s, the leatherworkers who built saddles were among the most highly valued … Continue Reading

Are You a Hospitalian?

Check out this TEDx Talks video in which Bobby Stuckey, world-renowned master sommelier, asks industry leaders everywhere: “Are you a hospitalian?” Stuckey opens his brief presentation by telling the story of a couple who, on their 40th wedding anniversary, arrived at his restaurant – Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, CO – half an hour late and furious with … Continue Reading

Change and the Law: Take Control of Your Own Future

In the most recent issue of Edge International Communique, I explored the issue of change in the legal profession, advising readers to take control of where their practices are going in a world where technology is altering not only how legal matters are carried out, but where and how they are accessed. My article begins: Today, … Continue Reading

July, 2015 Edition of Edge International Communiqué Now Available

It is my pleasure to draw the attention of readers of this blog to the most recent issue of Edge International Communique (EIC). In addition to an item I contributed on how to move forward to achieve your firm’s strategic plan, the issue features articles by two of my esteemed colleagues at Edge International: Pamela … Continue Reading

The Digital Future: Will Your Firm Survive?

I encourage readers of this blog to devote a few minutes of serious consideration to a new video from McKinsey & Company. In it, McKinsey Digital’s strategy leader Jay Scanlan reminds us of the scope and speed of change that digitization is having on the the way in which all business is conducted, and points … Continue Reading

2015 Edge International Global Partner Compensation System Survey

Edge International is pleased to announce the release of its 2015 Global Partner Compensation System Survey, authored by Edge International partners Ed Wesemann and Nick Jarrett-Kerr. This is the fourth triennial survey that we have conducted (the first was published in 2006) with a view to gaining an understanding of differences in firms’ approaches to … Continue Reading

How Managing Partners Can Help Administrators Achieve Firm Objectives

I was pleased to have been invited to contribute an article to the Jan/Feb 2015 edition of Administrator’s Advantage, the newsletter of the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators. In it, I outline some of the problems typically faced by managing partners in their work with firms’ administrative teams, and the challenges … Continue Reading

Client Relationships, Firm Strategy, and Lawyers and Retirement: New Issue of EIC

The April, 2015 issue of Edge International Communique is now available online. Check out feature articles by three of my Edge International colleagues: – David Cruickshank talks about improving client relationships – Bithika Anand addresses the issue of when lawyers should retire – Sean Larkan shares some tools for building (or rebuilding) an effective firm … Continue Reading

Brainwriting Clobbers Brainstorming

In most law firms, brainstorming processes are dominated by power partners or simply those with force of personality. When this happens, the scope of the process is narrowed and many participants may be disenfranchised. If the goal of a brainstorming session is to tap the brain trust of all participants, then “brainwriting” might be a … Continue Reading
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