Legal Business

Recent Posts

Google's Watching You: The Good, the bad, the ugly
Posted on 9 Feb 2012 by Steven B. Levy

This morning Google announced a change in its privacy policy . I link to the Washington Post article about it because searching Google for "Google Privacy Policy" does not bring up Google's privacy policy as its first result!!! (Okay, it's... Read More

Can Lawyers Learn From Best Buy?
Posted on 17 Jan 2012 by Steven B. Levy

Larry Downes in Forbes has an article on the decline and (they presume) fall of Best Buy . Other than the hagiography of Amazon.com, 1 there are some very interesting points in the article. Before you read it, though, consider what you think intuitively... Read More

What If Clients No Longer Want to Pay for Junior Associates?
Posted on 18 Oct 2011 by Steven B. Levy

The WSJ Law Blog (which has a new editor, by the way) featured an article yesterday on clients' increasing unease with paying for the work of first- and second-year associates . I've seen this change building for some years now, in my work... Read More

Making Junior Associates Cost-Effective
Posted on 19 Oct 2011 by Steven B. Levy

Yesterday I noted the issues raised by a WSJ piece on clients looking askance at paying going rates for first- and second-year associates . There are really only three ways to resolve this issue, beyond, of course, extending the status quo: ... Read More

Comparing Your Law Firm (or Department) to Apple
Posted on 3 Nov 2011 by Steven B. Levy

Most people, especially those outside the technology industry 1 , think very highly of Apple. What would your law practice look like if your clients felt that way about you? Some practices already get rave client reviews; these firms are proving... Read More

“What Has to Be Accomplished”
Posted on 8 Nov 2010 by Steven B. Levy

This is the fifth in a week-long series of articles about plans and planning, collected as Planning Week. The U.S. military (and various other armed forces) has the concept of Commander's Intent. Any (battle) plan needs to be accompanied by the... Read More

Everyone’s Trying to Get in on the Act
Posted on 10 Oct 2011 by Steven B. Levy

I saw an ad today for a university-sponsored legal project management 1 course for in-house counsel. I checked out the instructors, figuring that a reputable university would of course engage one of the specialists in this area. In this case I assumed... Read More

Can Project Managers Win by Being Annoying?
Posted on 5 Oct 2011 by Steven B. Levy

Some project managers lead successful projects by working well with the members of their team, their business partners/clients, and so on. Actually, most successful project managers are successful because they know how to work with people. Sometimes... Read More

Working Hard or Hardly Working?
Posted on 23 Mar 2011 by Steven B. Levy

The city/county/state is doing a major rebuild of the streets leading to the Interstate exit closest to my house in Seattle. My office is in my home, and when I travel I take another road to the airport, so I get to see the road construction once every... Read More

In Two Words: Project Management
Posted on 5 Oct 2010 by Steven B. Levy

Movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn (the G in MGM) once responded to a suggestion: "In two words: im possible." 1 I can describe project management in two words. Too many people, including project managers, think they can describe it in one. ... Read More

“No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy”
Posted on 3 Nov 2010 by Steven B. Levy

First up in Planning Week is German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke. "No battle plan," he sagely noted, "survives contact with the enemy." When your plan meets the real world, the real world wins. Nothing goes as planned... Read More

Learning From the Way Ford Learns
Posted on 13 Oct 2010 by Steven B. Levy

Today's NY Times describes how Ford's designers went "back to the drawing board" to tune the controls on their new cars. They didn't use drawing boards. That was the first big step. They used video games and paper mock-ups and... Read More

Telling Stories
Posted on 9 Nov 2010 by Steven B. Levy

Do you remember what football games on TV used to be like in the days before Roone Arledge, Howard Cosell and Monday Night Football? They were boring if you weren't a dyed-in-the-wool football fan, especially if the game wasn't close. Producer... Read More

The Hobgoblin of Foolish Consistency
Posted on 2 Nov 2011 by Steven B. Levy

(I should have posted this yesterday, when hobgoblins were out and about in the neighborhoods. And the first half wanders far afield before returning to project leadership concepts. You can skip the intro and jump right to that point .) I was working... Read More

Project Leadership and Motivation
Posted on 23 Jan 2012 by Steven B. Levy

What does science know about motivating employees that businesses too often ignore? That's the topic of an 18-minute talk by (nonpracticing) lawyer Dan Pink . He frames it as an argument to the jury of the audience. In this 2009 talk, he describes... Read More