June 2007

Just got back from a couple of days at Camp Shin Go Beek, a Cub Scout camp in northern Wisconsin.  That’s my son, Steven, on the left.  The lake was low this year, and with 10 Scouts and 10 adults on the dock, there was too much risk in casting, so the fishing was pretty

"At a famous presentation at Black and Decker, a consultant held up one of these, a drill, and asked the Black and Decker executives if this is what they sold. They all recognized the product and answered “yes”. He then suggested to them, that from the customer’s point of view, what they are selling is

I have been spending considerable time trying to identify the character traits firms must have to succeed.  Here’s my top ten list.  Feel free to add to it.

Discipline
Execution
Passion
An ability to be dispassionate
Commitment
Creativity
Excellence
Customer-focus
Comfort with Change and willingness to experiment
Maniacal effort to improve

I know that being

Like most other firms of its size in Chicago, Butler Rubin is approached regularly by much larger firms looking to merge (read, swallow).  Because my partners are a polite group, we smile, say thank you and then politely decline.  You see, most of us are big firm refugees and we would rather not relive those

That’s the moral of a recent "flash survey" of top General Counsel by Altman Weil on the latest round of salary increases for starting associates.  And that’s demand as a noun, not a verb.  Here are the key findings and insightful comments submitted by GC s:

  • 58% of the GCs believe the newest increases are

Not Gerry.  Raquel.

Let me explain.

Gerry was in Chicago yesterday, so we planned dinner as is our habit when he is visiting.  He called to tell me his daughter Raquel was in town.  "Would I mind if she joined us."  "Of course not.  Gerry and I got to the restaurant first and were having