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Why project management is becoming increasingly important to law firms

This week's post comes from the preface to my new book . The preface starts by explaining how to use the book's tools and templates to improve profitability and client service, then transitions to the material below, explaining why project management is becoming a critical component of many firms'...

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...

Overcoming resistance to change (Part 3): Raising the urgency level

Last week I wrote about how short-term wins can help to promote change in law firms. In the book Leading Change , John Kotter also talks about the value of "raising the urgency level," and even provides a table listing nine ways to do this in the corporate world (p. 44). While some would...

How to improve pitch meetings

A few months ago, I wrote about "The biggest mistake lawyers make when trying to develop new business" : they fail to listen. As I wrote in that post: The familiar term "pitch meeting" shows just how pervasive this mistake is. Most lawyers seem to think that when they meet with...

Time management

The simplest way to increase productivity is to manage your time better. While many time management techniques sound like common sense, that does not mean they are easy to implement. Start by identifying troublesome areas: How often are you interrupted? How do you manage disruptions? Can...

How to train lawyers in project management

Training professionals often talk about the importance of distinguishing between two types of goals: education and behavior change. Of course, almost every training program aims at both. But clients get the greatest return on their training investment when they think carefully about the tradeoffs between...

How to improve the management of legal teams (Part 2 of 4)

Legal teams come in so many shapes and sizes that it is impossible to come up with a short list of rules that apply to every case. But if you review all the ideas discussed in this series, you are sure to come up with a few action items that could help manage your legal team more efficiently. Part...

How to improve the management of legal teams (Part 3 of 4)

Rule # 4: Evaluate the competition "I don't believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game." - Tom Landry Evaluating the competition is second nature...

How to improve the management of legal teams (Part 4 of 4)

Rule # 8: Motivate the players "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." George S. Patton Rule #1 in this series was to identify what drives your team: the inherent intellectual challenge of legal matters, the relationships...