Implementation and Change

An all-too-common sight on the bookshelves of many law firm partners is the thick, dusty binder labeled "Strategic Plan." The partners, usually with the assistance of a consultant, developed an elegant, impressive, detailed strategic plan. They implemented almost none of it. Implementation...

Spread of Managerial Effectiveness as Law Departments Become Bigger because of More Threats and Opportunities

The more lawyers in a legal department, the more choices its general counsel and managing attorneys can make. With 100 lawyers the number of initiatives, decisions, permutations of structure and process, and investments are uncountable. Because of that profusion, some departments excel; other departments...

The Five Principles to Increase Employee Engagement, and How Well They Apply to In-House Attorneys

If it's in the HBR, it must be true. So here are the five from the Harv. Bus. Rev., March 2010 at 24: "Keep people informed, listen, set clear objectives, match the person with the job, and create meaningful work." How applicable are these principles in a legal department? Keep people...

The keys to new business in a changing economy (Part 1 of 2)

When the economy changes, lawyers must change too. New client demands and new levels of competition are requiring lawyers to rethink the way they develop business. When I wrote the book Legal Business Development: A Step by Step Guide a few years ago, I outlined the steps each lawyer should take to find...

The current state of quality assurance in law firms

Quality assurance will be one of the most important factors in law firm business strategy in the decade of the 2010s. It will have profound effects on law firm profitability by reducing the causes of poor productivity. Law firms that do quality assurance well will also have a powerful competitive advantage...

Quality is a firm-wide issue

This is the second in a series of seven posts about the elements of successful quality assurance programs in law firms. It only takes one hole to sink a ship, not a hole in every compartment. If one practice group - or even one lawyer - has a vulnerability, the same or similar weaknesses probably...

Law departments can turn to a full-fledged graphics department at a law firm

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has set up an ancillary function that is unusual. "One of the things that we have done is to create an in-house graphics group for trials and hearings. They do all the in-court graphics rather than our going outside and paying extraordinary fees." The quote comes...

Decisions, not guesses

This is the fifth in a series of posts about the characteristics of successful quality assurance systems in law firms. Previous posts outlined three important points that distinguish quality assurance from crisis-to-crisis after-the-fact improvisation: Quality assurance is a firm-wide issue...

Family firms in emerging markets – a perspective from the Middle East

The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania has recently published a very interesting article " Family Firms in the Middle East: The New Rules of Engagement." A significant number of Walker Clark clients are "family" law firms in emerging legal markets. We have...

Fear of Facebook? You decide.

"Should I be on Facebook?" That is the first question lawyers often ask me these days. Followed by: "Should I trust Facebook?" and "Is Facebook really worth my time for business development?" My answer is an enthusiastic YES! but..... .....only in the hands of a conscientious...

Fear of Facebook: Part II: How to use Facebook privacy settings

Facebook estimates that only 20% of its members take advantage of the privacy features. As a business professional using Facebook , privacy settings allow you to manage your network so you can speak discreetly to certain Friends, like co-workers or family members, as opposed to other "Friends"...

Fear of Facebook Part III: Fan Pages for Law Firms?

"There's a lot of business done in country clubs, but you'll never see a company open a booth in the club's dining room. Instead, individual business people network quietly there, blending into the scene and using the social atmosphere to their advantage. That's how I feel about...

A Radical Future For The Legal Industry?

Rory Webber, Martindale-Hubbell Connected's Marketing & Community Development Manager interviews legal journalist and MH Connected member, Richard Parnham. In today's difficult economy, many law firms are focusing on how to survive over the next few months. But good times will - hopefully...