Archives: Law Firm Strategy

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Empathy Key to Success with Business Clients

In a recent article in Bloomberg BNA: Big Law Business, Susie Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Allstate Corporation, gets specific about how Allstate selects and retains outside law firms for the work its massive legal department can’t handle internally. Lees’s comments about how Allstate works with outside counsel makes interesting and valuable reading, but I believe the message we need to … 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

“Focus on Forever” and Other Rainmaking Skills

A survey conducted by BTI Consulting Group, as reported recently on its Mad Clientist blog, shows that rainmakers book five times more business than the average law firm partner. In answer to the obvious question, “How?”, BTI president Michael B. Rynowecer proposes possibilities that range across such areas as self-discipline, relationship management, communications skills, values and focus. Among other behaviours Rynowecer theorizes that rainmakers have developed to … Continue Reading

Securing New Litigation Work

Based on a projected thaw in the litigation market in 2016, the Sept. 30, 2015 installment of BTI’s blog, The Mad Clientest, features a useful and user-friendly infographic entitled “How to Capture the Money Clients Spend on Litigation.” BTI’s visual, which includes a link to the company’s recent report, BTI Litigation Outlook 2016, illustrates effective … 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

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

New General Counsel at Client Companies a Wake-Up Call: Rynowecer

Michael B. Rynowecer, President and Founder of the BTI Consulting Group, warns law firms that they should consider the appointment of new general counsel at any of their major clients to be a “wake up call.” He supports this caution with some interesting statistics, which he posted recently on his Mad Clientist blog: within fifteen months of being hired, he says, more … 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

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

“Competitive Intelligence” and the Practice of Law

The Legal Intelligencer has launched a series of articles that focus on “competitive intelligence” in the context of legal practice. The term “competitive intelligence” refers to the ways in which one company makes itself aware of what other companies in the same field (i.e., its “competitors”) are doing. This may include tracking their business practices, … Continue Reading

Where Evolutionary Technology Meets Your Legal Practice

At first blush, you might ask what a bionic arm catching objects in mid-flight has to do with the practice of law. I assert: “Everything.” Who are the lawyers who represent these evolutionary products? Clearly, there will be lots of intellectual property involved, but I say that the list goes on. Here are just three … Continue Reading

How “Niche” Can You Get?

In recent years, boutique and even mid-sized firms have begun to offer increasingly specialized ranges of legal services. One notable example in this regard was recently the subject of an article in The Philadelphia Business Journal. Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue was established in Manhattan in 2005 to meet the specific needs of one industry and … Continue Reading

Seven Mindsets of Effective General Counsel

An article by my friend Michael P. Maslanka, “Seven Mindsets of Effective General Counsel,” appeared recently in Texas Lawyer. It includes advice that I found useful, and I hope you will as well. In the article Mike suggests that "How lawyers think determines how we act." With that in mind, he encourages general counsel to “seek … Continue Reading

Apple profiles law firm use of iPads

The iPad has become a formidable competitive weapon for law firms: Quote from Fennemore Craig case study on Apple.com/business: "If I didn’t have an iPad as a lawyer, I’d be at a major disadvantage," Quote from Virtual Strategy Magazine article: iPad® Harnessed by Law Firm to Sharpen Client Service Now, legal materials live on a … Continue Reading
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