Pedantic is defined as “narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned a pedantic insistence that we follow the rules exactly” and “unimaginative, dull.” You’ll see in a minute why I began with this definition. I read an interesting article in today’s Chicago Tribune on the signs of greatness in companies. One of the key signs is… Continue Reading
You just can’t make this stuff up. A recent ABA Journal article, Some law firm leaders question associate pay hikes amid tepid year, caught my eye. The Peer Monitor report stated: Firms were squeezed by a perfect storm of slumping demand and rising headcount. The ABA Journal article reports: The economic forces have led some… Continue Reading
See my post in the ABA Journal.
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
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
I just got an email from my friend John Kain in Australia. John is the CEO/Managing Partner/Leader of the Pack (not sure of his title) of Kain C+C Lawyers in Adelaide. John is as forward thinking as any lawyer I’ve met, trying to systematize the practice of law whenever possible and treat law like a… Continue Reading
Several readers offered very nice comments on my original Some Things I Think I Think post, so I’ve decided to continue thinking. Well, at least sharing things I think I think. A recent Wall Street Journal article Lawyers, Judges Modify the View That Adverbs Are Mostly Bad, reminded me of how much I hate pronouns… Continue Reading
I got a kick out of a post at Above The Law, Associate Bonus Watch: Dechert’s Bonus Is Contingent On Something That Sure Sounds Like Billable Hours. The unstated but unmistakeable conclusion from the memo is that even firms that say hours aren’t important place disproportionate importance on billable hours. ATL quotes one tipster saying:… Continue Reading
The difference between a successful firm in the Old Normal Era and a successful firm in the New Normal era is huge. How to get from one to the other? Big changes. So how to get to the New Normal? Watch this video by Dan Heath who, with his brother Chip, authored Why Change is… Continue Reading
This Fast Company article discusses an IBM study of CEOs that concludes that creativity is the most important leadership quality. The results come from one-on-one interviews of more than 1,500 CEOs from around the world. A most interesting read, especially since this trait is not seen in abundance in law firm "leaders."
"If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less." –General Eric Shinseki, then Army Chief of Staff Courtesy of a tweet by my friend Gerry Riskin (who also blogs about this video here), comes this eye-opening (and if it doesn’t open your eyes, you’re dead) slide show prepared Beaton Research and… Continue Reading
An absolutely brilliant piece by Paul Lippe in today’s AmLaw Daily makes the case that lawyers’ belief that they will reduce risk by making choices that are conventional or appear safe is misplaced, especially in today’s rapidly changing world. Lippe’s piece, Welcome to the Future: What Bill Belichick’s Taste for Risk Can Teach Law Firms,… Continue Reading
From AmLaw Daily: We used our annual survey of the heads of The Am Law 200 to ask questions about the changes they’re seeing; 142 responded. . . . More than half the law firm heads report seeing a "fundamental shift" in the legal marketplace; only a quarter said they didn’t. This result is staggering. … Continue Reading
ACC’s Susan Hackett just posted Are Firms Tone Deaf? Why Push For Rate Increases In 2010? Almost exactly one year ago, I asked the same question in my post The Economy And Rate Increases: Someone Is Not Listening. I had raised the issue in early October 2008. As Susan’s post makes clear, law firms are… Continue Reading
Did you ever notice how decisions seem to gain a momentum of their own? A managing partner becomes enamored of an idea, and no one else spends time thinking about it. Or, as is more frequently the case, a tough question, such as "Are we at the top of our game, or are we in… Continue Reading
One of the explanations often offered by managing partners to explain why lawyers (really, their organizations) are so slow to change is lawyers’ well-establish aversion to risk. Change involves risk, to be sure, though the assumption implicit in the statement–that the status quo does not involve risk–is demonstrably untrue. That debate, however, can be had… Continue Reading
"When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path to decline. So, how would you know?" This question is the… Continue Reading
I was recently having a discussion with a friend of mine who is the Managing Partner of a firm I love and greatly respect. We were talking about Valorem’s Advisory Board and what a great experience its been for us. She lamented that she would love to create a similar board for her firm, but had… Continue Reading
My friend Ed Reeser has written extensively, in blogs, Legal On Ramp posts and articles, on leadership issues in law school. If you know Ed, you know that he is the kind of person who leads from the front and he is the kind of leader you love to follow wherever he goes. So when… Continue Reading
John Kotter, author of A Sense Of Urgency and a professor at Harvard Business School. He is considered by many to be an authority on leadership and change. Those words are not spoken often in the context of the business of law, so it is not surprising that Kotter’s recent interview on the topic of… Continue Reading
I met Gini Dietrich on Twitter. Gini is the CEO of Arment Dietrich, a public relations firm in Chicago. Gini also is the primary author of the blog The Fight Against Destructive Spin. In a recent post, Gini, an avid cyclist, recounted how she had been riding along with fellow cyclists talking about the Bears. … Continue Reading
I think the world of Dan Hull. Smart, opinionated, tough-as-nails, erudite. Great writer. Funny as hell. Plus we share an unwavering commitment to providing unsurpassed client service. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, though. Dan still believes in the billable hour. I have devoted my life to proving it the bane of the… Continue Reading
A July 14 post on Chicago Law announced that Joe Collins had resigned from Mayer Brown following his recent conviction in the Refco fraud debacle. That was hardly newsworthy: Collins had been on leave since 2007. Here’s the quote that caught my attention: "The story also says few other lawyers at Mayer Brown knew… Continue Reading
Happy Birthday America. Two hundred thirty three years ago, leaders decided that change not only was possible, but necessary. Were they certain what change would bring? Of course not. But they did it anyway.