See my post in the ABA Journal.
I was having lunch with a friend a few days ago and we started talking about the legal industry’s move to pay starting lawyers $180,000 a year. Plus benefits. To me, salaries of this kind are the product of the criminally insane, but my friend said, “it’s only $10 an hour.” I knew what he… Continue Reading
Seth Godin had an insightful post in his blog today, Bigger for?. He writes about the pains of checking into a huge hotel, where no one knows your name, there is always a line at check-in and the gym is full at 5 in the morning. Bigger helps the owner make more profit (at least… Continue Reading
Last week, BTI Consulting reported that alternative fee arrangements have “soared to an all time high,” noting that AFAs generated savings of nearly 14%, or an average of $2.7 million for law departments. These savings are significant, but as I have often said, much greater savings are possible if AFAs are deployed with other important… Continue Reading
Michael Rynowecer of BTI Consulting had a great, must-read post today on his Mad Clientist blog. In the post, which I strongly recommend, Michael makes these points: Spending on AFAs is way up—nearly 20% CAGR over 4 years Outside counsel spend under AFAs jumped to over 35% Almost 70% of companies The reported savings from… Continue Reading
Most complain that their law firms are not meeting their needs. Some law departments bring work in-house. Some change law firms. But the problems persist. Outside the law department, companies solve this kind of problem by creating a solution. Often, the company’s engineers work with a willing vendor to find the right solution. Is the… Continue Reading
I recently read the 2016 Report On The State Of The Legal Market by Georgetown Law and Peer Monitor. I was struck by the clarity of the message being sent by clients, and equally struck by how law firms seem not to hear it. Consider these messages. More work is going places other than law… Continue Reading
If you learn a lesson, you are unlikely to repeat the mistake you made. Consider this like turning on a flashlight while walking around in the dark. It helps you avoid running into a piece of furniture. If you learn a lesson and share that lesson with others, your colleagues, your outside law firms and… Continue Reading
I wrote a series on Signal and Noise here, here and here. The problem clients confront is that most law firms look and sound alike. When we started Valorem in 2008, no one was talking about alternative fees, no one was offering alternative fees and the world, by and large, thought we were crazy. Now,… Continue Reading
Have you ever had asked about the status of a project you had assigned to someone only to be told it had been completed “some time ago?” Those who have had such conversations know the level of irritation you feel when you hear that response. A project is not completed until it is reported completed…. Continue Reading
If you want to learn how a prevention program can help a law department add value to its company (with metrics), join us in Houston on October 28 at 5:30. Jeff Carr will present his experience with prevention and the value it creates for law departments and their companies. Details can be found at… Continue Reading
50% of Americans do not get second opinions for important medical diagnoses. 30% of the time the second opinion causes changes in the diagnosis or treatment. Do the math. I don’t know the data on what percentage of in-house lawyers get second opinions about a strategy. But I bet it’s pretty darn small. I have… Continue Reading
In Part 1 of this post, I noted how law firms had become so adept at creating “noise” about various topics, focusing on client service and alternative fee arrangements. In Part 2, I identified 5 questions a General Counsel could ask to help separate signal from noise so she or he would know who is… Continue Reading
In Part 1 of this post, I noted how law firms had become so adept at creating “noise” about various topics–client service and AFAs for example, they they effectively drowned out any signal on these topics. Much of what firms have to say about these topics is nothing but gibberish, but it accomplishes the objective… Continue Reading
I was reading this interesting Fast Company article about what the 2016 Presidential candidates talk about when speaking of income inequality. This statement was interesting: Does all of this talk about inequality render the term meaningless? Especially at a time when wealthy donors have unprecedented sway on elections, the idea that government must work to… Continue Reading
In the beginning, we solved problems but did so inefficiently and unpredictably. That was Old Law. Most clients don’t like Old Law because they are under budget and performance pressure. Then we learned to be efficient and predict the cost of solving a problem. This was New Law. Most clients embraced New Law because it… Continue Reading
There are certain mistakes made by doctors or other healthcare professionals that result in the need for further treatment. An example is sponge that is left behind during surgery, which generally necessitates further surgery. Insurance companies and government payors have determined that mistakes like these are easily avoided and refuse to pay for the second… Continue Reading
Valorem Law Group recently surveyed in-house counsel. A huge thank-you to the 42 in-house lawyers who responded. The question we asked was: When making a decision to hire a law firm to handle a litigation matter that is NOT bet-the-company, which of the following values are the most important to you? (Please rank in order… Continue Reading
Everyone says they are committed to client service. Here is the truth: No one has the chutzpah to speak as candidly as Rhett, but there’s the truth.
I can’t even make stuff like this up. Lawyers and invoices are a toxic combination, but the AmLaw 200 firms that are responsible for these examples have people who are supposed to prevent the lawyers from revealing their invoicing stupidity. Here a couple of my favorite illustrations from an article too good to pass up:… Continue Reading
When it comes to assessment, this is what most people think of themselves: But the reality is this: So people delude themselves. When the makers of a product win some trials and lose some trials, how many of the… Continue Reading
War Games 1983 The ultimate service–help eliminate the need for your service.
Pam Woldow and Doug Richardson penned a terrific post, Top 5 Bad Excuses for Resisting Legal Project Management. I wanted to compliment them and share some thoughts on the 5 excuses. 1. My clients don’t want or need LPM. I had to laugh when I read this. Most lawyers who talk about what their clients… Continue Reading
According to Bloomberg BNA, Honeywell General Counsel Katherine Adams has determined that e-auctions are the ticket to lower legal fees. For those unfamiliar with the process, an e-auction is where the the corporate counsel throws chum in the water and the pool of sharks start thrashing around trying to feed on the skimpy morsels being… Continue Reading