Legal Business

Recent Posts

Overcoming resistance to change (Part 2): Short-term wins
Posted on 11 Aug 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

Legal Spending Is Down, Opportunities and Project Management Will Rise
Posted on 22 Oct 2010 by Tom Kane

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... Read More

Yes, Successful Rainmakers Can Be Made
Posted on 16 Apr 2010 by Tom Kane

Some would argue that Rainmakers are born that way, and those that aren't can't. It is conceded that developing business does not come easily for a lot of folks, but the skills can be taught, at least to most lawyers. Ed Poll's article... Read More

Are Your Web Site Images Effective?
Posted on 23 Jul 2010 by Tom Kane

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... Read More

The ACC Value Index
Posted on 20 Jul 2011 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

Strategic polygamy
Posted on 20 Sep 2010 by Norman Clark

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... Read More

5 Business Development Tips For These Economic Times
Posted on 3 Aug 2010 by Tom Kane

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... Read More

Don't Let Your Advertising Raise False Expectations
Posted on 19 Jan 2011 by Tom Kane

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... Read More

Law departments can turn to a full-fledged graphics department at a law firm
Posted on 3 Mar 2010 by Rees W. Morrison

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... Read More

Legal Project Management (Part 8): McDermott’s Deal Dashboard
Posted on 12 May 2010 by Jim Hassett

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... Read More

Legal Marketers Can Step Out of the Box With Video
Posted on 3 Mar 2010 by Kara Smith

My assistant, Lori, sent me a very funny link to a law firm's commercial on YouTube. (You've got to love when you find people to work with whose personalities and quirky sense of humor is in-synch with your own!) One aspect of marketing I work... Read More

Keshet Study of Business Development
Posted on 8 Oct 2010 by Harry Keshet

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... Read More

What Law Firms Can Learn About Delivering Happiness from Tony Hsieh | CEO Zappos
Posted on 21 Jun 2010 by Jayne Navarre

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... Read More

Project Management, People Management
Posted on 5 Mar 2010 by Steven B. Levy

What's the relationship of project management and people management? The worst professional project managers I've worked with over the years were universally terrible people managers. Conversely, the best project managers were outstanding people... Read More

Measuring Success in the Corporate and Legal Worlds
Posted on 20 Apr 2010 by Steven B. Levy

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... Read More

  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: A five-way struggle to entice the general counsel and senior lawyers of major US companies

    Five organizations will vie in 2010 to win the favors of general counsel who lead legal teams at large US companies. The competition will be fascinating to watch and whatever the outcome will likely benefit all managers of legal departments. To find out about these five organizations, read the Law...
  • Blog Post: The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 1 of 2)

    Last month, Of Counsel, the Legal Practice and Management Report, published an article based on The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , which they described as "the most lucid and comprehensive study that we have seen on this topic." This post reproduces the first part of the article....
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: GCs who report to the CEO are paid more, and a few thoughts on reasons why

    Recent data has appeared on general counsel among the Fortune 250 who do or don't report to the CEO as well as the compensation differences between the two groups. The analysis comes from Equilar by way of a summary in Inside Counsel, Jan. 2010 at 42. A graphic shows that 204 general counsel of...
  • Blog Post: An Interesting Point in Support of AFAs

    Anthony Tijan's article in the Harvard Business Review about bundling services and goods goes on to make an intriguing point about Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs): "I remember receiving a legal bill that carefully showed the breakdown of all the expenses. As the buyer of these services...
  • Blog Post: Legal Marketers Can Step Out of the Box With Video

    My assistant, Lori, sent me a very funny link to a law firm's commercial on YouTube. (You've got to love when you find people to work with whose personalities and quirky sense of humor is in-synch with your own!) One aspect of marketing I work with my lawyers on when developing their brands...
  • Blog Post: Project Management, People Management

    What's the relationship of project management and people management? The worst professional project managers I've worked with over the years were universally terrible people managers. Conversely, the best project managers were outstanding people managers. (Two clarifications: First, I'm...
  • Blog Post: Found by firm: an “overwhelming desire by clients to get to know the associates who work on matters”

    In Met. Corp. Counsel , Vol. 18, Feb. 2010 at 11, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges ( James Quinn ) summarized one of the insights the firm derived from a client satisfaction survey. The firm identified "an overwhelming desire on the part of clients to get to know and work directly with our...
  • Blog Post: Quality is a cultural change

    This is the final posting in a series about the characteristics of successful quality assurance programs in law firms. How does one measure the success of a quality assurance program? When Walker Clark advises a law firm, we tell the partners to look for these indicators: Improved productivity...
  • Blog Post: The missing link in global business intelligence

    My Walker Clark, LLC, colleague, Bill Henderson has shared with me his notes for his address on 14 April 2010 to a business leaders conference in Zagreb, Croatia, sponsored by LIDER , a major business publication in Croatia. As our firm's clients already know, Bill is an outstanding thought leader...
  • Blog Post: Yes, Successful Rainmakers Can Be Made

    Some would argue that Rainmakers are born that way, and those that aren't can't. It is conceded that developing business does not come easily for a lot of folks, but the skills can be taught, at least to most lawyers. Ed Poll's article that appeared in LawyersUSA this week, advises small...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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;...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: "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...
  • Blog Post: '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...
  • Blog Post: 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...