Tag Archives: Law Firm Management

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

Shift from “Case” to “Task” Approach Will Impact Law-Firm Management

A recent article in Corporate Counsel draws our attention to a paper published by Morris Ratner, associate professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, on the impacts on legal practice of cost-management initiatives by both clients and the courts. Paramount among these, the paper says, is a move by in-house departments toward “unbundling” … Continue Reading

Asking the Right Question

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, journalist Warren Berger discusses the importance to effective leadership of asking the right questions – with the emphasis on the word “right.” “How you question is critical,” says Berger. “Questions can be great for engaging and motivating people, but they can just as easily be used to … Continue Reading

Management Meets Engagement: Putting Your Strategies to Work

Doug Sundheim recently published an article in The Harvard Business Review on a subject of relevance to anyone involved in organizational management – whether in the field of law or any other discipline. His focus is “the chasm between strategy and execution.” Sundheim points out a truth familiar to anyone who has ever tried to … Continue Reading

Should You Ban PowerPoint from your Meetings?

According to a recent article in Philanthropy Daily, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has banished PowerPoint presentations from meetings of his staff. Instead he requires speakers to prepare six-page summaries of what they want to say. His meetings begin with quiet periods, during which other meeting attendees read the summaries. In a 2012 interview with Charlie … Continue Reading

Time Sheets: Law Firm Compliance Policies

Many law firms are rethinking the billable hour as the primary basis for assessing client fees, but for now the question of how to encourage lawyers to complete and submit their time sheets continues to demand attention. Todd Gerstein, CEO and founder of Smart WebParts, surveyed a group of lawyers on LinkedIn about their firms’ … Continue Reading

Edge International’s Bithika Anand sponsors India’s first-ever conference for both law firms and legal departments

I am delighted to announce that Edge International’s Bithika Anand, founder of India’s Legal League Consulting LLC, will host the first-ever management event for India’s legal industry to include both law firms and legal departments. Presentation and discussion topics include strategies of firm governance, mergers and acquisitions, and dealing with an economic downturn. The one-day event … Continue Reading

How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Breakout Sessions

Holding breakout sessions at retreats and workshops allows the management of law firms to maximize the input it receives from associates and partners on a range of topics. In the most recent issue of Edge International Communiqué, I offer a few guidelines that meeting facilitators can use to increase the effectiveness of these breakout groups. … Continue Reading

“Mass Layoffs at a Top-Flight Law Firm” – NYTimes.com

An article about severe cutbacks at a major U.S. law firm, which included the termination of 30 associates and 110 support staff and cuts to partners’ salaries, recently appeared in the “DealBook” section of the New York Times. The piece raised a general alarm about the financial challenges facing the legal profession, quoting sources that … Continue Reading

Stop Over-Thinking!

When it comes to managing our law firms, including leadership and business development, we tend to apply our lawyering skills to the detriment of our organizations                       An article that recently appeared in Lifehack, "How to Stop Being an Over-Thinker" by Craig Harper, explains how … Continue Reading

It’s Not Just About Team Spirit: Great Managers Can Boost Your Bottom Line

    Considering the money law firms invest in every newly hired attorney, it would make sense for partners to pay closer attention to lawyer satisfaction. But according to Gerry Riskin, founding partner of law firm consultancy Edge International, "most firms are oblivious" to attrition costs. "That expense is unacceptable, yet firms have been accepting … Continue Reading

Of Retreats, Power Tools, and Management Training

The October, 2012 issue of Edge International Communiqué is now available online.   The issue features timely articles by three of my partners at Edge International, and I am pleased to share their guidance with readers of Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices. Ed Wesemann gives us five tips for putting on a law-firm partner retreat that … Continue Reading

Law Practice Lesssons Learned On The Stage

Photo: Marilyn Shaw. Used with permission Meet my friend James Patrick Guy II. Jim Guy is chair of the Law Practice Management Division of the Virginia Bar Association, and energy industry team leader at the LeClair Ryan law firm. He is also the lead singer of the Irish-American pub band, Uisce Beatha. I have had the privilege … Continue Reading

How the digitization of legal services is affecting law firms’ bottom lines: and what you can do about it

  Chris Bull – Edge International partner and author of The Legal Process Improvement Toolkit  – is worried. He believes that law firms everywhere are failing to take sufficient notice of recent massive changes to consumer attitudes and technologies – changes that are already having a major impact on the practice of law. Bull is … Continue Reading

What can law firms do when a partner underperforms?

    In his newest book, Tackling Partner Underperformance in Law Firms, Edge International partner Nick Jarrett-Kerr addresses a highly sensitive issue that has faced nearly every law firm at one time or another: What do you do when one of your partners is not pulling his or her own weight? In preparation to write the … Continue Reading

The Edge International 2012 Global Law Firm Partner Compensation System Survey

“There is a significant difference among countries in what law firms take into consideration in setting partner compensation.” – The Edge International 2012 Global Partner Compensation System Survey   ‘   “There is a significant difference among countries in what law firms take into consideration in setting partner compensation.” –  Edge International 2012 Global Partner … 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

2012 Law Firm Strategy Lessons from the Apollo 13 Moon Mission

Your law firm’s success in 2012 may require considerable ingenuity under extreme pressure just as it did from the crew of Apollo 13 for their safe return to Earth. Apollo 13 was the third mission in the American Apollo space program intended to land on the Moon. The number 2 oxygen tank in the Service … Continue Reading

Valorem Lawfirm lives up to its “value” name

An article in this month’s Corporate Counsel Magazine has the spotlight on Valorem and for good reason.  Author Susan Hansen says: Valorem… now boasts a list of big, brand-name clients, including funeral industry giant Service Corporation International; national shoe retailer DSW Inc.; Veolia Water, a supplier of water and wastewater management services; and the online … Continue Reading