Group Practice Organization

In small firms, informality is often the rule. The partners may make a series of decisions regarding many aspects of their practice without a great deal of overall planning. There are few employees, hence, personnel policies may be less formal, within legal constraints. Toward clients, there is a close...

Practice Groups as Part of Organizational Structure

Practice groups have become the driving element for strategy development and implementation. However, experience shows that many firms are frustrated with the effectiveness of practice group operations, with the implementation of practice group planning and with the management/leadership of practice...

Forms of Organization: Centralized vs. Decentralized

Generally, the centralized departments are located in a corporate headquarters and provide legal services for the company in all of its enterprises and locations. In the decentralized law department, the headquarters contains only a general counsel and a few legal specialists. Operating divisions or...

Personnel Policies and the Employee Handbook

It is important for efficient management and good employee relations that an employer have carefully considered and clearly stated personnel policies which are communicated to the staff. A number of personnel policies are affected by various labor laws, both federal and state, and some, such as those...

Power Up Your Firm’s Diversity Strategy: Employ BI to Fill the Information Gaps

Diversity is now squarely a priority for law firms. Many law firms have diversity committees, and many have hired diversity directors. Much attention has been paid to firm recruitment and promotion processes. Mission statements, web sites and policies have been rewritten. Unfortunately, few firms have...

Bensen & Myers on Litigation Management: Is the Litigation Team being Managed Efficiently?

Intro to Chapter 2 of Bensen & Myers on Litigation Management: Is the Litigation Team being Managed Efficiently? Critical to effective litigation management is the maintenance of a stable and highly motivated litigation team. Critical to the maintenance of a stable and highly motivated litigation...

Managing Associate Recruitment & Development

With the cost structure of firms under assault like never before, every investment must be examined for the potential to improve efficiencies. Because associate recruitment and development represent such significant costs, firms stand to reap big savings by taking a more strategic approach to these activities...

US Supreme Court Heightens Burden for ADEA Claims

In a decision that came as a surprise to employers and employees alike, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the longstanding standard of proof for mixed motive discrimination cases set forth in its Price Waterhouse decision of 1989 does not apply to employees who bring actions under the Age Discrimination...

Integration, Training & Professional Development

Employers have an enormous stake in the transition from law school to law practice. If personnel costs are the firm's largest expense, and people are its most important assets, it is good business to make every effort to protect such valuable assets. Too often new associates are brought into a firm...

Moneyball Indeed!

Research by Kerma Partners and the Redwood Think Tank shows that incorporating "success factors" into law firm recruiting can have a big impact on firm profits. Read full article authored by James Bergin and Ron Paquette.

Law Firm Succession Planning

A recent article in the Journal of Accountancy offers timely succession planning insights for certified public accountants, which are equally relevant for attorneys who own their own practices. In "A 2009 Tuneup for Your Firm's Succession Planning", Dominic Cingoranelli writes: "The...

Building Cross-Competency in Law Firms

Many law firms invest considerable time, effort, and resources in cross-training younger lawyers to work in more than one practice area. Cross-training is a worthwhile investment, but often a very costly one. This Green Paper outlines a new approach to cross training, which achieves well-defined, measurable...

When It’s Too Late for Succession Planning

Business succession and generational transition are no longer just theoretical issues or problems to be deferred until sometime in the future. By our estimates, a majority of the law firms in the world - perhaps as many as 75% of them - are now or within the next ten years will be, confronting the need...

Lessons of Recession Could be Forgotten after Turn-around

Taking into account all of the trends and statistics of the new economy, there will be several imminent changes that will appreciably affect new legal careers. Most likely, firms will keep the billable hour, will move to merit-based compensation, and will likely continue to have minimal minority representation...

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...

Will the Future Associate be a Contract Employee?

The future of the legal profession is full of uncertainty. Will the old habits return as they did after previous recessions, or will these changes be permanent? No one knows for sure, but there are some possibilities and trends to take notice of. Cost Cutting: First of all, corporations have become...

Don't Fire Your Receptionist...

Fire the person who hired him or her. Over the years, I've told a few horror stories involving receptionists. Two that immediately come to mind, include: the cigarette dangling, shoeless one , and the one that told the caller to get lost . It has always amazed me that businesses, including...