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    Legal Spending Is Down, Opportunities and Project Management Will Rise

    An article in Tuesday's ABA Journal online reports that legal departments cut spending for the first time in 10 years. This is based on the Hildebrandt Baker Robbins 2010 Law Department Survey. The results are significant because the 9 previous yearly...

    LPM Tidbits for Week Ending 10/16/2010

    Juicy bite-sized morsels of legal project management from the week ending Saturday, October 16, 2010. Steven Levy draws lessons on managing client expectations from a New York Times article describing " how Ford's designers went 'back...

    Coaching or The Buddy System

    What I especially like about Seth Godin is his pithy posts which plant plenty of powerful (p)ideas in my pons (part of brainstem). Okay, I didn't do that well on that one, but heck it's only Tuesday. The point is that his recent brief post about...

    Alternative fee strategies (Part 2 of 3): Conservative risk avoidance

    This three-part series is reproduced from the LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , a research report based on in-depth interviews with chairmen, senior partners and C-level executives at 37 of the largest law firms in the US. More conservative...

    Does your law firm need a “social agency?”

    As social media channels grow and the "what should we be doing" buzz slowly moves across the legal marketing industry, more legal marketing professionals and law firm leaders are asking, do we need to hire an agency? If you're big enough...

    Learning From the Way Ford Learns

    Today's NY Times describes how Ford's designers went "back to the drawing board" to tune the controls on their new cars. They didn't use drawing boards. That was the first big step. They used video games and paper mock-ups and...

    Keshet Study of Business Development

    Harry Keshet , a researcher and consultant who has previously worked with the National Association of Women Lawyers , is in the midst of a study of business development that promises to be a significant resource for the legal profession. He is collecting...

    In Two Words: Project Management

    Movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn (the G in MGM) once responded to a suggestion: "In two words: im possible." 1 I can describe project management in two words. Too many people, including project managers, think they can describe it in one. ...

    Artifacts: The Map Is Not the Terrain

    I've hear a lot about artifacts in the past two days. I saw an interesting list of questions about Legal Project Management from a firm partner. We discussed artifacts more than I anticipated in my most recent Master Class. And I responded to a...

    Legal project management (Part 15): The power of sharing

    This post was written by Steve Barrett and Jim Hassett . Any lawyer who has ever had a mentor knows how valuable it is to have access to information about what has worked in the past, and what hasn't. But lawyers are busy, and sharing is not...

    Forget About Web Sites, and Focus on Google Maps

    That may be a bit strong. But not too far off for law firms that market to consumers vs. corporate firms. Tom O'Leary, a law firm internet marketing consultant, reports his clients are telling him that they are doing much better with Google Local...

    Value questions to ask your top clients (Part 2 of 2)

    This post concludes our list of questions to ask top clients. As noted last week , the idea is to pick just a few that fit your situation, schedule a meeting to discuss them, and listen to them while they talk 80% of the time. Whatever the client says...

    Value questions to ask your top clients (Part 1 of 2)

    When an AmLaw 100 senior partner recently asked us for advice on strengthening the relationship with a top client, we recommended asking questions about his client's perception of value. We sent this list. His task was to pick a few key questions...

    Why Cross-selling Doesn't Work, But Could

    There are obstacles to cross-selling that explains why law firms are so bad at it. But with the right kind of leadership and incentives, the obstacles can be overcome. It isn't easy though. When I was an in-house legal marketer, I actually saw cross...

    A Prospect Didn't Hire You, and You're Surprised?

    Okay, you met the ideal prospective client, who had a legal problem you really could have helped them with. BUT, after your conversation which you thought went well, he or she didn't hire you. What's with that? Well, according to RealPractice's...

    Teaching Legal Project Management in Public

    Most of the training I do is for individual firms and departments. Thus it's not open to outside attendees. Occasionally, I teach what's called a Master Class. I have a public Master Class next Tuesday in Chicago for which I believe a couple...

    Strategic polygamy

    We continue the ongoing discussion about the search for strategic relationships with foreign law firms. One of the big mistakes that some firms make when looking for a strategic partner is to expect to form an "exclusive" relationship with...

    Social Media Black-outs and brown-outs: Are we getting burnt out?

    Something other than Autumn leaves is in the air. This week I've seen mentioned three high profile instances of individuals and institutions going on a social media blackout or brown-out and I admit my online activity has waned in the past few months...

    Blogging Can Really Bring In Business

    As the Greatest American Lawyer blog says "content can drive business." In a post yesterday, it was pointed out that the advantage of blogging is that it can benefit both the lawyer and prospective client . Demonstrating one's expertise...

    The E Words: Effectiveness and Efficiency

    The Three Geeks and a Law Blog guys (I think it's Tony Brown writing) have an interesting post on the limits of efficiency . It leads me to ask (rhetorically), What's the difference between effectiveness and efficiency? You know the old...

    Client Communications: What Has The World Come To?

    A reporter called the other day to ask about whether client communications have changed, and what I thought about how lawyers should communicate with clients in this new age. She mentioned that in talking with some digitally savvy "younger"...

    'Do you come here often?'

    Sometimes finding the right strategic partner is like looking for a new romance in a bar. The key to success is finding points of affinity upon which to build a relationship, whether for the rest of the evening or for a lifetime. This is a second of...

    Client Interviews: Think Defensively

    I have advocated for years the need for client satisfaction interviews as a means of keeping competitors from pirating your clients. Not only do these surveys, especially in-person ones, help to solidify the client relationship, but they let a firm know...

    Are Clients 'Demanding' Change?

    Adam Smith, Esq. has an excellent piece this morning , based on a Legal OnRamp thread, questioning whether corporate clients are actually demanding the changes so many of us are talking about, from alternative fees/value-based billing to legal project...

    Free Lunch

    A surprising number of otherwise sophisticated law firms spend a horrifying amount of time and money pursuing strategic alliances, partnerships, or other relationships with other firms. Some of these relationships work well. Most, however, produce disappointing...