Header graphic for print
In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Category Archives: Leadership and Management

Subscribe to Leadership and Management RSS Feed

BigLaw just can’t shake it’s reliance on hours!

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Leadership and Management

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 Science of Change

Posted in Leadership and Management

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

Most Important Leadership Quality? Creativity

Posted in Leadership and Management

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."

You’ll like irrelevance even less

Posted in Commentary, Leadership and Management

"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

Bill Belichick could never be a Managing Partner

Posted in Commentary, Leadership and Management

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

Change and organizational risk

Posted in Commentary, Leadership and Management

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

The Leadership Gap

Posted in Commentary, Leadership and Management

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

Designing The Nuclear Supercarrier Of The Future and The Practice Of Law

Posted in Leadership and Management

"Designing a nuclear powered aircraft carrier is a mindbendingly complex process."  I love that sentence–if only because of its understatement (and the use of "mindbendingly").  It is from a fascinating article at FastCompany.com, How Does The Navy Design The Nuclear Supercarrier Of The Future?  The answer, of course, is that one designs nuclear supercarriers with the… Continue Reading

Can BigLaw Afford To Look Askance At Contract Lawyers

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Leadership and Management

Here’s a sentence that should scare the bejesus out of every inside lawyer: "Other firms, however, are taking work they would typically farm out to contract lawyers and instead are giving it to associates who might not have much on their plates." So says Raunn Ross of Agency Legal Staffing in Los Angeles.  Apparently, some… Continue Reading