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After the honeymoon

What happens when things don't work out after a merger as well as the partners had hoped? There are almost always some rough spots after any merger of two businesses. However, these can be become life-threatening for recently merged law firms, which, like most law firms, typically have lower...

While timesheets rule but chargeable hours suck

There was something deliciously ironic about me trying some new time recording software this week. It's many years after I left life as a private practice lawyer but I can still remember that huge sense of freedom at escaping the tyranny of the timesheet. The feeling of being able to work on...

How not to network

I returned from a working vacation (mostly working) to find a discussion thread on one of the social networks started by a lawyer looking to build a network with lawyers in other countries. It is not surprising that a lot of hands, mostly from solo practitioners and lawyers in small firms, have been...

A textbook example of international expansion

Allen & Overy's opening of its new office in Washington, D.C., announced today at legalweek.com demonstrates the smart way to plan and execute an international expansion strategy: Go only where you need to go, but go there with the best. The London-based global firm will build its Washington...

My Technology Wish List

By Scott Kadish Technology has revolutionized our practice. Faxes used to be the greatest thing ever, and we have moved way past faxes in the last 10 years. Technology will continue to evolve. My wish list: 1. Phones as we know them are eliminated . All phone calls will be video calls over...

Lawyers – Just. Do. Something.

It seems like there was some sort of psychic alignment in the UK legal blogging community last week. As the news came rolling in on changes facing the UK market (Neil Rose's site Legal Futures is often a good place to start), the Entrepreneur Lawyer Chrissie Lightfoot wrote a great post...

Year-end countdown: accounts receivable

As we approach the end of September, firms with fiscal years ending in December should already be taking the first steps in their year-end fee collection campaign. Your firm's billing team will probably do most of the heavy work, but in well-managed law firms the billing partner for each file...

Lawyer with a video game addiction

I just received the monthly newsletter of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board. Not Fun and Games: Lawyer with Video Game Addiction Suspended This month's most interesting disciplinary decision is the case of Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Matthew J. Eshelman . By order dated August 17...

Getting beyond the myth of the rainmaker

Too many lawyers believe that only "natural rainmakers" can win new clients. This is possibly one of the biggest factors in poor marketing and business development in law firms. Not believing that they can be good at marketing, many lawyers discourage themselves, and sometimes are discouraged...

Year-end countdown: individual business plans

Do partners in your firm have individual business plans? My colleagues and I have observed that in some law firms the combined strength of the individual business plans of each partner can be more important that the overall quality of the firm's business plan. This is not to say that firm...

“Dead files” — but do they need to smell bad?

One of the best sources of entertainment about professional ethics is the monthly newsletter of the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania (USA) Supreme Court. Because I cannot begin to approach the wittiness of their writers, I beg their pardon for quoting this month's example of bizarre professional...

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...

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...