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Project Management Lessons From the TEPCO Tsunami Mess

The Associated Press now has a copy of the tsunami plan for the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. It's two pages long and ten years old. (The AP calls it one page, but it's a double-size page.) There's some discussion of whether two pages was enough. From a project management...

Business plans for gigantic canoes

For several months now, I and some of my colleagues in the Public and Professional Interest Division of the International Bar Association have been reviewing the business plans of the PPID committees and other entities. These groups range from very small task forces and working groups of fewer than...

Good surprises

Are you better than you think you are? One of the most unpleasant surprises in the practice of law is to learn that a client is dissatisfied with something that you believed that you did quite well. Bad news like this is unwelcome, but it can be the first step to managing a major vulnerability...

The epic failure of the world’s best presenter

Over the past few weeks I've been out and about in the legal community and seen a number of presentations from eminent QCs. The verdict was in. EPIC FAIL! Now for those of you outside the UK, Queen's Counsel (QCs) are the creme de la creme of that part of our legal profession that...

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...

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Opens Georgetown, Delaware, Office

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide, has announced that it has opened an office in Georgetown, Del. Chancellor Chandler recently became a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich...

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...

When Can Law Firms Screen to Avoid Disqualifications?

By David Sorensen While many are aware of the concept of screening, especially in light of recent action by many states and the ABA in this regard, fewer are aware how actually to use screening effectively. Correct use can not only obviate potential disqualifications, but also bar complaints, fee...

Robert Half Legal Survey: 1 In 4 Lawyers Plans To Hire In Fourth Quarter

Litigation Expected to See Most Growth, New Robert Half Legal Survey Reveals MENLO PARK, Calif. - One in four (25 percent) lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plans to add legal staff in the next three months, while just 1 percent plan reductions in personnel. ...

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...

1 In 4 Attorneys Plans To Hire In Second Quarter, Robert Half Legal Survey Finds

MENLO PARK, Calif. - More than one-quarter ( 26 percent ) of lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plans to hire full-time legal staff during the second quarter of 2012, while 4 percent anticipate staff reductions. The net 22 percent increase in hiring activity compares...

1 In 3 Lawyers Plans To Increase e-Discovery Spending, Robert Half Legal eDiscovery Services Research Reveals

Many Unprepared to Manage Requests, Especially for Social Media, Cloud Computing MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Spending by organizations on electronic discovery-related services grew in 2011 and should continue to increase through 2013, new research from Robert Half Legal eDiscovery Services indicates. Nearly...

Robert Half Legal Survey: 4 In 10 Law Firms Lack Leadership Succession Plans

MENLO PARK, Calif. - If a law firm loses its top leaders, who will take their place? It's a question without an answer within many organizations, new research from Robert Half Legal indicates. Nearly four in 10 ( 39 percent ) attorneys polled said their law firm does not have a succession plan in...

The NLRB and the Law Firm as an Employer

Although law firms can be subject to the NLRB's jurisdiction, there are not many reported decisions. An administrative law judge recently issued a decision involving a small law firm in Alabama that addressed the issue of whether a lawyer who was not a partner could be a supervisor within the...