Archives: Law Firm Management

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Ignoring Outside Counsel Guidelines Can Be Costly

The Artificial Lawyer is reporting on a costly disconnect between U.S. law firms and their clients’ legal departments: The 2019 Annual Law Firm Leader Survey on Outside Counsel Guidelines shows that in the majority of cases, attorneys pay little to no attention to billing guidelines that have been established by their clients until it is too … Continue Reading

Flexibility a Key to Employee Satisfaction – Even in Law Firms

Writing in Inc., leadership specialist Marcel Schwantes predicts that traditional companies that want to hire and retain “the best” will need to adopt a principle set out by Microsoft founder Bill Gates several years ago: they will need to get more flexible. As we discussed in a previous post, many valuable employees are looking for … Continue Reading

Employees Who Work Remotely Can Help the Bottom Line

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, Barbara Z. Larson and Cirrus Foroughi share 2017 Gallup Poll and 2018 US Census data indicating that about 40 percent of U.S. employees work from home at least some of the time, and that about 5 percent work exclusively from home. The … Continue Reading

Steven Rogelberg on How to Make your Meetings Less Awful

Watch this episode of Daniel Pink’s Pinkcast, featuring Steven G. Rogelberg, winner of the 2017 Humboldt Research Award and author of The Surprising Science of Meetings: How to Take Your Team to Peak Performance. The video will take less than three minutes of your life, and can improve endless numbers of minutes and even hours in … Continue Reading

Ask Gerry Riskin: Should Corporate and Other Transactional Groups Spin Work off to Litigation Teams?

Client Question* While it seems to be a commonly held assumption that corporate and other transactional groups in firms spin work off to litigation teams (and that this is and should be the primary source of clients for litigators/trial attorneys), we aren’t finding any literature or research that supports this premise. Our numbers indicate the … Continue Reading

Are Your Clients Requesting Lawyers Based on Their Online Bios?

When lawyers first started creating bios of themselves for use in firm promotion, clients generally used them to choose a firm, or to check out who they’d be working with after the firm had made the assignment. However, Michael Rynowecer at The Mad Clientist warns that these days, clients are using attorney bios to assess … Continue Reading

Do or Die: Outside Law-Firm Rosters Shrink as Client Spending Grows

Lest any of us get too comfortable in our swivel chairs, a new report from Michael B. Rynowecer, president of the BTI Consulting Group, indicates that in 2018 – despite spending more on outside legal counsel than ever before – clients are using fewer outside firms than ever. In a September issue of The Mad Clientist … Continue Reading

U.S. Law Firms Mark Best First-Half Revenue Growth in Ten Years

Citi Private Bank reports in The American Lawyer that the first half of 2018 was better financially, in particular for small- and large-sized law firms, than was the first half of 2017. In fact, overall revenue growth across the industry in the U.S. contributed to the strongest first half since 2007. Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm … Continue Reading

The Legal Profession Faces an Epidemic (And It’s not Bird Flu)

The Mad Clientist – the blog of the BTI Consulting Group – has diagnosed a growing epidemic among law firms: complacency. “Wishes do come true,” they write. “Legal spending is up. The existential crisis is over. And urgency is retreating as success is just a little easier to come by.” The result, they say, is … Continue Reading

Why is Alcohol Abuse such a Problem among Lawyers? What Can We Do About It?

As this blog and many other law-related publications have reported, a 2016 study sponsored by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association found that more than 20% of lawyers are problem drinkers – a rate that is higher than that of any other profession. The study also showed that those in private … Continue Reading

Five Essential Articles: Depression and Substance Abuse among Lawyers

Rocket Matter has published a series of five excellent articles on depression and substance abuse among lawyers. They represent a valuable reminder that – given the competitive nature of our work, its heavy workloads, long hours, and limitless opportunities for stress –  even some of the most successful lawyers in the world are prone to … Continue Reading

Nurture Effective Leadership Where You Need It the Most

I was pleased to contribute an article entitled “Stealth Discrimination: A Model for Choosing and Managing Your Leaders” to the December 2017 issue of Edge International Communique. I developed the “Stealth Discrimination Model” several years ago to assist managing partners and others responsible for leadership in law firms who (like most of us) simply do … Continue Reading

Mills Oakley Succeeds with Management from Business Sector

In my previous post, I addressed the issue of whether law firms should be managed by lawyers or by business experts – and noted that while many lawyers resist the notion of having non-lawyers direct the operation of their firms, the basic principles of business management are essential to law firm success. This week I would like to … Continue Reading

Lawyers or Business Experts: Who Should Be in Charge?

It is not a new debate, but the question is perhaps more relevant than it has ever been before: Should lawyers or business wizards manage law firms? A recent article by Casey Sullivan in Bloomberg Big Law Business profiles chief operating officers at major US law firms that have chosen to put business and finance experts in charge of operations, rather than … Continue Reading

Could Regular Interviews Help Law Firms Retain Valuable Staff?

A brief article in Canadian Business suggests a way that businesses and professional companies like law firms can help to identify areas of concern among valuable legal and support staff before they lead to major problems. The article is based on a book co-authored by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. In Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss, the authors suggested that interviewing “star employees” on … Continue Reading

Facing and Overcoming Law Firm Business-Development Challenges

I was pleased to have been invited recently to contribute my thoughts to an article by Jody Glidden, cofounder and CEO of Introhive. Introhive provides relationship intelligence automation (RIA) support to law firms and other professionals who are using customer relationships management (CRM) platforms. Jody asked me to talk about “the most critical business-development mistakes law firms are making … Continue Reading

AU Law Firm Credits “People Focus” for Its Success

The managing partner of the Australian office of US-based Squire Patton Boggs, one of the most successful law firms in the world ($US1 Billion global revenue with more than 1500 lawyers, and offices in 21 countries), attributes the firm’s prosperity and growth – even in recent years, when the market has been sluggish – to its focus on its staff. … Continue Reading
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