LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Time to Update Your Partnership Agreement? A Diagnostic Checklist

As my colleagues and I advise law firms on governance issues, such as managing the growth of the partnership, partner compensation, or capital requirements, we and our clients sometimes discover that it has been many years since the partnership agreement, partnership deed, by-laws, or other corporate...

Use your quality assurance experts

The people who do the work are in the best position to improve it . This is the third in a series of posts about the characteristics of successful quality assurance programs in law firms. Many law firms assume that the installation of an effective quality assurance program will require hiring a...

Most in-house counsel neither manage nor lead others – they do work

Upwards of 80 percent of all US law departments have fewer than 10 lawyers. Even at the top of the range, assuming at least four or five direct reports to the general counsel, none of the other lawyers manage more than one or two lawyers and maybe they share management of a paralegal and a secretary...

Business plans for gigantic canoes

For several months now, I and some of my colleagues in the Public and Professional Interest Division of the International Bar Association have been reviewing the business plans of the PPID committees and other entities. These groups range from very small task forces and working groups of fewer than...

Law Firm Staff: Overlooked Marketers

Most employees of law firms are in a great position to help in the firm's business development efforts - or help damage them. A lot of that depends on how they are treated, how much that love or hate their job, and are otherwise engaged in the business of the law firm. This is particularly...

Life after managing partner

The Lawyer reported this morning that Mark Walker, until recently the managing partner of Cleary Gottlieb in New York, has moved to Paris and into the world of finance as a senior advisor to the global sovereign advisory group at Lazard. One of the subtle flaws in many law firm governance schemes...

How Dumb Is the Pointy-Haired Boss?

Scott Adams and Dilbert regularly ridicule management, usually represented by the pointy-haired boss, or PHB. Over the many years Adams has been drawing the strip, he's certainly found plenty of targets for ridicule. Many of them have struck home with workers and bosses alike. I thought...

Legal Project Management by another Name

Jay Shepard has an interesting post today at Above the Law where he talks about the need for partners to teach associates to be future partners . He lists seven things a teaching partner should do to strengthen the firm for the future: Be consistent. Share the whole picture. Provide...

Steve Jobs, Teamwork, and Legal Project Management

Jonah Lehrer writes in Wired and The New Yorker about Steve Jobs using architecture to inculcate teamwork when he took over Pixar. He insisted that Pixar's headquarters be designed so that disparate groups of employees were forced to come together for certain functions. He insisted on a large...

The Hobgoblin of Foolish Consistency

(I should have posted this yesterday, when hobgoblins were out and about in the neighborhoods. And the first half wanders far afield before returning to project leadership concepts. You can skip the intro and jump right to that point .) I was working on some slides when I noticed that PowerPoint...

Comparing Your Law Firm (or Department) to Apple

Most people, especially those outside the technology industry 1 , think very highly of Apple. What would your law practice look like if your clients felt that way about you? Some practices already get rave client reviews; these firms are proving to be tough competition. Yet I've heard senior...

Leadership: actions and words

In September and October 2011, our firm conducted a worldwide survey about law firm leadership, as part of our ongoing support of the Law Firm Management Committee of the International Bar Association . 374 lawyers participated, more than half of whom are or have been managing partners of law firms...

A Lesson in Leadership from Aon’s Litigation Counsel

Mark Herrmann, Chief Litigation Counsel for Aon, writes about his first 360 review here . A 360 review is common in many corporations for mid-level and senior managers. An HR consultant (usually) helps you map your self-assessed strengths and weaknesses against those defined by your manager(s)...

The challenges of change in managing lawyer careers

Our firm is currently advising several law firms about improvements to their career management policies and procedures. In some legal markets this has become a very important strategic issue - not just one of internal human resources management. In order to make the improvements that are necessary...

Market leaders lead the market

When a group of law firm partners discusses significant changes in their respective firms, one of them will almost certainly say: "But no other firm in our market does this..." We have three responses that we ask our clients to consider: First, are you sure? We have frequently discovered...

Inspiration for the New Year | Bringing great projects to life

There are two fatal errors that keep great projects from coming to life: Not finishing Not starting -Buddha A DEEP BREATH OF LIFE Early last year I took a yoga class at Florida Keys Community College. While I was far from a good student, having missed more than half the classes,...

Can Lawyers Learn From Best Buy?

Larry Downes in Forbes has an article on the decline and (they presume) fall of Best Buy . Other than the hagiography of Amazon.com, 1 there are some very interesting points in the article. Before you read it, though, consider what you think intuitively is Amazon's core advantage over Best Buy...

Can Lawyers Learn From Best Buy?

Larry Downes in Forbes has an article on the decline and (they presume) fall of Best Buy . Other than the hagiography of Amazon.com, 1 there are some very interesting points in the article. Before you read it, though, consider what you think intuitively is Amazon's core advantage over Best Buy...

Project Leadership and Motivation

What does science know about motivating employees that businesses too often ignore? That's the topic of an 18-minute talk by (nonpracticing) lawyer Dan Pink . He frames it as an argument to the jury of the audience. In this 2009 talk, he describes the science of motivation, which is fairly...

Google's Watching You: The Good, the bad, the ugly

This morning Google announced a change in its privacy policy . I link to the Washington Post article about it because searching Google for "Google Privacy Policy" does not bring up Google's privacy policy as its first result!!! (Okay, it's first if you count the ads... but many of us...