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

Monthly Archives: December 2009

10 predictions to welcome the new decade

Posted in General

For most people and most businesses, the end of 2009 and the end of the “aught” decade could not come soon enough.  Well, rise and shine, 2010 is here.  Time for a positive, upbeat attitude.  (If you celebrated the end of the decade last night and “aren’t quite yourself” this morning, you can start having… Continue Reading

Bad ideas, good ideas–and litigation

Posted in Commentary

  Fantastic post by Seth Godin.  Here it is: A few people are afraid of good ideas, ideas that make a difference or contribute in some way. Good ideas bring change, that’s frightening. But many people are petrified of bad ideas. Ideas that make us look stupid or waste time or money or create some… Continue Reading

I am honored to receive a 2009 “Blawggie”

Posted in General

Dennis Kennedy, the dean of law blogging, annually (since 2004) awards "Blawggies."  According to Dennis: The Blawggies, which honor the best-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are now an annual pre-Christmas tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog. I’m very pleased that this… Continue Reading

Your perspective on price makes a difference

Posted in Commentary

Courtesy of the Lean Six Sigma Academy, I am reading the Guide To Lean, by Ron Pereira.  He notes three ways to express how a company turns a profit: 1.   Price – Cost = Profit 2.   Profit = Price – Cost 3.   Price = Cost + Profit All the same?  Perspective counts here.  The following… Continue Reading

Price. Value. Commitment?

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Above The Law recently revealed some internal documents from Simpson Thatcher.   If Simpson Thatcher reflects what is going on in large law firms, it is clear that the recession is hurting BigLaw big time: In 2007, our realization was 110%; in 2008, our realization was 97%; for 2009, we originally budgeted 93%, and we are… Continue Reading

The Season For Wreaths, By Scott Greenfield

Posted in General

My dear departed father served in the United States Coast Guard during WWII, so this request is one I happily accomodate.  Scott Greenfield, who writes the brilliant Simple Justice, asked (via Twitter) bloggers to blog about programs that use wreaths to honor those who died in the service to their country.  I thought for a… Continue Reading

Know Thy Price

Posted in Commentary

Dilbert, courtesy of Dilbert.com, December 7, 2009   Here’s the questions of the day.  Other than when hiring lawyers, what other goods or services do people buy without knowing the price?  How did lawyers escape this prevailing rule?  Why are some clients unwilling to insist that lawyers play by the rules that every other person… Continue Reading

WARNING: Beware of Stealth Rate Increases

Posted in Commentary

This if for clients only.  If you are from a law firm, don’t bother reading this. Many firms have announced that they are moving away from lockstep compensation and advancement for their associates.  DLA Piper announced yesterday that it was joining other firms in this approach.  Above The Law described the DLA structure like this: Instead… Continue Reading

Some law firms need to retake math class

Posted in Commentary

Richard Susskind reports that law departments are facing cuts on the order of 20-40%.  Assume that his data is off by 100%, meaning the cuts are between 10-20%.  More cuts are looming. Law firm rates went up an average of 2.5% in 2009, according to a National Law Journal survey. Law firms are predicting increases… Continue Reading

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

The smell of war is in the air

Posted in Commentary

In the past few weeks, I’ve posted on the decision many firms have made to raise hourly rates for 2010 (here, here and here).  The inside counsel world has heard the same thing.  And they are not happy. Check out this Law.com post featuring how two GCs are handling the issue.  For those with no… Continue Reading

More On The Tone Deaf, Insane Crowd

Posted in Commentary

Altman Weil is out with a flash survey of law firms on 2010 billing rates.  The survey finds: The survey found that US law firms project an average overall increase in rates of 3.2% for 2010. Most law firms will make rate change decisions based on specific variables including timekeeper class, practice, client or individual… Continue Reading

Results Are In: Insanity Rules

Posted in Commentary

Ten days ago, I linked to a post, by Susan Hackett of ACC, Are Firms Tone Deaf? Why Push For Rate Increases In 2010?  I referred to a post I made a year ago using the same "tone deaf" language that firms should not seek rate increases in 2009.  This mornings American Lawyer contained this: Although… Continue Reading