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In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Monthly Archives: August 2009

If all lunches were like this …

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

It was my great fortune today to have lunch with Gerry Riskin and Rob Millard of Edge International, and my partner, Nicole Auerbach.  Wow. Wow. Wow.  I’m a huge fan of Edge.  Gerry or Rob, alone, will inspire a great conversation, but together they ensure that the conversation will be eye-opening, mind-expanding and thought-provoking.  But… 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

Former BigLaw Insider Poses Challenge For BigLaw Leaders: Hold Yourselves Accountable

Posted in Commentary

Accountability and law firm leadership (actually, management more accurately describes what goes on at most firms) are words rarely used in the same sentence, paragraph or conversation.  I decried the lack of accountability last March in my post, Who Is Accountable For The Lack of Vision?.  This morning’s AmLaw Daily contains a wonderful article by… Continue Reading

….and on the other hand …

Posted in Commentary

Mike Roster, the head of the ACC Value Challenge and a former GC and outside lawyer, just relayed a story in a post on Legal On Ramp.  Here’s the story: I once was at a board meeting with a director who had been a CEO of several major public companies. We had just heard a presentation… Continue Reading

GCs: Mine your data!

Posted in Commentary

Interesting post on Adam Smith Esq. about the billable hour debate really being about trust.  Largely true.  I envision the billable hour model to be akin to the relationship between prisoners and prison guards, with clients in the role of guards.  Like prison guards forcing inmates to behave according to some set of standards and… Continue Reading

I am honored to be a Legal Rebel

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

The ABA’s Legal Rebels project was launched yesterday.  Here’s the description of the project: The legal profession is not just struggling through a recession, but also undergoing a structural break with the past. There is a growing consensus that the profession that emerges from the recession will be different in fundamental ways from the one… Continue Reading

DataCert To Host Seminars on AFAs: Yours Truly Speaking

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article discussing corporations saving 15% on legal spend by using alternative fees makes DataCert’s announcement that it will be hosting seminars on Alternative Fees in Houston, Chicago and Silicon Valley all the more timely.  The Houston program will be September 8, Chicago on September 22 and Silicon Valley on September 24. … Continue Reading

Mediation on the rise?

Posted in Commentary

Last week, I wrote about corporate America instructing its counsel to make litigation go away rather than spending money defending lawsuits.  Perhaps one way it is doing this is by increasing the use of mediation. Mediation is a good investment of time and money, especially if you get a good mediator.    

Wall Street Journal Article Is Further Evidence Of Move Away From Billable Hour

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

The front page of today Wall Street Journal contains an article, ‘Billable Hour’ Under Attack,that poses more questions than it answers.  Amongst the useful insights: corporate spending on flat fees is up 50% over the same period last year corporations using flat fees are experiencing 15% average savings over those not using flat fees But… Continue Reading

Legal Community Veterans Continue Attack on Billable Hour

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

    In two separate articles, long-time law firm consultant Joel Henning and former GE GC Ben Heineman, Jr. and William Lee, co-managing partner of WilmerHale, have highlighted the plight of the profession borne of the billable hour and the model that creates a ponzie-scheme-like need for ever increasing revenue in law firms. Henning’s article, A… Continue Reading

BigLaw Still Facing Problems?

Posted in Commentary

Anecdotes first:  A short while ago, I had lunch with a friend, a BigLaw partner.  This partner’s firm had gone through two rounds of associate and staff layoffs, a round of partner reduction and some de-equitizations.  According to this partner, more of each are on the near horizon, as in 2009 sometime.  I heard similar… Continue Reading

War and Litigation Budgets

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

  My friend Dan Hull at What About Clients? has an interesting post on litigation budgets.    Here is Dan’s key point: War is the last of all things to go according to schedule. — Thucydides (460 BC – 395 BC) in The History of the Peloponnesian War. Bill Turner of Womble Carlyle recently wrote that… Continue Reading

“Make this go away”: Corporate America’s New Take On Litigation

Posted in Commentary

The online version of National Law Journal contains an interesting analysis of the impact the recession is having on how corporate America looks at litigation.  In For Litigators, A Different Kind Of Recession,author Karen Sloan analyzes various data and surveys and reaches some interesting conclusions.  Here is the critical part for me: A survey of… Continue Reading

Hourly Billing And The PEP Conundrum

Posted in Commentary

Let’s say you’re the managing partner of an AmLaw 200 firm.  You’ve terminated associates and staff (using, of course, the kinder and gentler term "lay offs"), you’ve eliminated free coffee, taken tissues away from associates and staff (presumably you had the good grace to do this after all the layoffs),  raised the amount people have… Continue Reading

Rain Today Publishes Lamb-Auerbach Article On Client Loyalty As By-Product Of Great Leadership

Posted in Commentary, People, Places and Blawgs

  Nicole Auerbach and I were honored to be asked to author a chapter in a RainToday.com special report, The One Piece of Advice You Need to Earn Your Clients’ Loyalty.  Our submission, Client Loyalty As A By-Product Of Firm Leadership, has received several positive comments on Twitter since the RainToday.com posting ("great leadership article"). … Continue Reading

Virtual Firms And The Future Of Law Practice

Posted in Commentary

Very interesting article in the Legal Technology section of law.com today, Does The Future Belong To Virtual Law Firms? The articles discusses how Virtual Law Partners secured a client that is incorporated in Delaware and based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is represented by a VLP partner living in Cali, Columbia.  Pretty cool.  The article… Continue Reading