Measuring Success in the Corporate and Legal Worlds

Bruce MacEwan (Adam Smith, Esq.) asked a good question the other day : What is the one line item that appears on virtually every corporation's balance sheet but not a single law firm's? The answer: retained earnings. An upset - and I think inaccurate - post in Above the Law this morning...

Legal Project Management (Part 5): Six Sigma and Lean

When I started this series of posts, I thought it would have only five parts. However, a significant amount of new information has been published on this topic since I started the series a few weeks ago, so I will continue with several additional posts. When experts talk about increasing legal efficiency...

Legal Project Management (Part 8): McDermott’s Deal Dashboard

If you believe what's been written on the web lately, you'd think that the idea of applying project management principles to legal matters was brand new. In fact, however, some lawyers have been focused on these ideas for years, developing new tactics and tools, often under the radar. For...

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...

Ark. Lawyer Helps Negotiate Contracts for Athletes

CONWAY, Ark. - Texarkana, Ark., native Judy Simmons Henry has accomplished something no other female in the state of Arkansas has done before. A business litigation lawyer and partner with Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP in Conway, Henry can now add one more designation: certified contract adviser...

Firm's New Office Space Includes Rooftop Deck, Coffee Bar…and Not Many Walls

Chicago-based firm Childress, Duffy, Goldblatt Ltd. has left the traditional office setting behind for a rather unique space, which includes a rooftop deck with wireless access, a coffee bar, sofas and flat-screen televisions. Staff works on the rooftop, partners share offices, associates and staffers...

Three lessons

On Monday 14 June 2010, I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion about the adoption of a business approach to law firm strategy. This was part of the very successful Managing a Modern Law Firm conference, organized by the Law Firm Management Committee and the Latin American Forum of the International...

What Law Firms Can Learn About Delivering Happiness from Tony Hsieh | CEO Zappos

Tony Hsieh's recently released book, Delivering Happiness | A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose , is destined to be a classic Gen X must read business book following in the footsteps of other great Boomer reads such as Jim Collins' Good to Great and Built to Last. I read it cover to cover...

How to Write a Blog Post: content ideas for lawyers who blog.

Setting up a blog is easy. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it will probably be the last easy thing you do in your life as a lawyer who blogs. The rest of your life as a lawyer who blogs will revolve around an empty white box-a box longing to be filled with your nifty ideas...

Vault Releases 2011 Top 100 Law Firm Results

Once again, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz has been ranked the top firm for Overall Prestige in Vault's annual law firm associate survey, marking eight consecutive years as number 1 in the survey results. This is the 13 th year that Vault has conducted its annual Law Firm Associate Survey...

Are Your Web Site Images Effective?

Marketing professionals have for years gotten a pretty good laugh over the too often used pictures lawyers have on their web sites (and brochures). That is, courthouses, gavels, scales of justice, law books, etc . Can't remember if I've mentioned before how boring and predictable these images...

5 Business Development Tips For These Economic Times

It certainly is no secret that the buyers of legal services are closely scrutinizing the costs associated with outside law firms, especially during this economic downturn. There are two things that some firms recognize in that climate: first, there is a need to re-think their approach to developing business;...

Overcoming resistance to change (Part 2): Short-term wins

Last week I wrote about a simple strategy to promote change: find the feeling. Sounds great in theory, but exactly how do you do that? Of course the answer will depend on your firm's culture and on the change you are promoting. Here's one example: in many of the firms that we talk to these...

"Never, never let others define you. You define yourself."

Emmitt Smith said that in his August 7, 2010 Football Hall of Fame induction speech. You can read the speech here . I don't love football, but I do like the Dallas Cowboys - most seasons. I typically wouldn't hunt for legal marketing/management metaphors on a sports channel in the fall of...

'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 a series of posts about common mistakes law firms...

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 another firm. Although, in the past, some law firm...

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-selling work - maybe 1% of the time. An article...

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 data about business development opportunities...

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 or serious enough, you probably do. And according...

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 surveys showed a 5% to 9% increase each year...

A lockstep revival?

In recent months, a substantial part of our firm's practice has involved working with law firm partners to improve their compensation systems. (I am currently working on four such projects with firms in Latin America and Africa.) One interesting issue that has arisen in some of these projects...

Don't Let Your Advertising Raise False Expectations

I'm not a big fan of advertising for most firms. That's because there are so many other things a firm can do first to effectively gain clients, but haven't tried enough of. So, until they've done other more effective things, i.e., face-to-face kinds of business development, advertising...

Does Your Bio Tell A Story?

It should. Any potential client is going to check you out before calling, whether on your web site or social media sites. If it is like a lot of bios, that may end your chances right there. Your bio should encourage not discourage inquiries from potential clients, the media, or conference planners. ...

The ACC Value Index

We live in an age when consumers rate everything from restaurants to toaster ovens and movies on Yelp , Trip Advisor , Netflix , and hundreds of other web sites. In this environment, is inevitable that law firms too would be rated online. In October 2009, the Association of Corporate Counsel introduced...

Book review: Winning legal business from medium-sized companies

Silvia Hodges' Winning Legal Business from Medium-Sized Companies is based on her Ph.D thesis at Nottingham Law School . Most legal marketing books are based on anecdotes and experience. This one is based on the type of systematic research evidence that lawyers love. (I do too.) Hodges'...