Many people have views on how to develop a vision of change, of disruption.  Having just created ElevateNext Law (with the incomparable Nicole Auerbach) and created a vision with Elevate Services and Univar, I wanted to share my “recipe.”  It is a combination of George Bernard Shaw and Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Says Shaw: Some see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were and say why not.

Says Picard: Make it so.

So, to capsulize:  Dream. Execute.

On Monday, my partner Nicole Auerbach and I announced the launch of ElevateNext, which will work alongside Elevate Services, a best-in-class law company.  And with Elevate, we announced our collaboration with Univar, a Fortune 500 chemical and ingredient distribution company, to reduce its legal spend by 50%. Many have followed our time with Valorem.  I am grateful for the sustained interest in our work at Valorem, and so I wanted to share the thinking that went into the creation of ElevateNext.

Continue Reading Announcing ElevateNext. The next big step in serving our clients.

Using its search and social metrics, Feedspot is honoring 40 blogs from among the thousands of Legal Marketing blogs.  Blogs were ranked on the following criteria:

  • Googgle reputation and Google Search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media
  • Quality and consistency of posts
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

With that selection process, I am honored and humbled that this blog has been named a Top 40 Legal Marketing Blog.

Continue Reading In Search of Perfect Client Service named a Feedspot Top 40 Legal Marketing Blog

On March 19th, JD Supra announced its 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, which recognized 240 authors from among 50,000 who published on JD Supra’s platform this past year.  I am deeply honored to have been named a Readers’ Choice winner in the Marketing and Business Development category.

As described by JD Supra, the methodology for selection is:

Continue Reading Patrick Lamb named a 2018 JD Supra Readers’ Choice Award winner

I have been a renter. I have been an investor in homes. I have been a buyer of homes and I have worked with a builder to design and build a home.  Each experience has its pros and cons.  The critical thing to making each role a successful one is to decide in advance what role you want to play.  The same lesson holds true for operating a business and for operating a law department.

Continue Reading Renter v. Investor? Buyer v. Builder?

Earlier this year, Vincent Cordo, the Global Sourcing Officer for Shell, and Casey Flaherty, a consultant to law departments, wrote an article for the ACC Docket, Shell Legal—Shadow Billing. Let me begin by disclosing that I have enormous respect for the work Vincent Cordo has done at Shell and that Casey is a friend whose work I also respect greatly.  However, respect and friendship do not translate into complete agreement on all issues, and this article presents an area where I disagree. I know Casey won’t be surprised.

Continue Reading Justifying shadow billing as promoting diversity? Much better ways exist.

If you want to take a vacation, there are a few basic steps.

  1.  Figure out where you are.  Travel requires a starting point.
  2. Figure out where you want to go.  Tropical paradise? Check. Ski chalet? Check. Great wall of China? Check.
  3. Figure out how to get from 1 to 2.  Plane? Check. Train? Check. Automobile? Check.
  4. With figuring complete, move.  Move to computer to book travel. Move to airport.  And so on.

It’s not a complicated process.

Figuring out how to deal with the massive changes in the legal landscape and the even greater changes that are plainly now coming is not any different, though some might be harder.

  1.  Figure out where you are.  What is your firm, really?  Are you innovative? Change-resistant? Cutting edge? Wedded to quill pens?  It is hard to conduct a candid and honest self-assessment. But it is essential.  And if you delude yourself, you’ll find yourself going to O’Hare for your flight when your train leaves from Union Station.
  2. Figure out where you want to go.  What type of business will be successful in 5 years?  Don’t look farther ahead. Ten years ago, most of us didn’t have smart phones.  Now, does anyone other than my 89 year-old mother not have one?  Five years is the right time frame.  Will artificial intelligence help LPOs or start-ups capture work you are now doing?  Very probably. If so, your leverage model might not be a good thing.  Indeed, your whole business model might be a liability.  I think you get the point–figuring on where to position your business is a difficult process.  But if you don’t engage in it, start getting used to the odor of the trash heap.
  3. Figure out how to get from 1-2.  Very. Detailed. Step. By. Step. Plans.  Timelines. Burden yourself with realism.  War-game the process.  This, too, is a very difficult step. People tend to turn into Pollyanna for this stage. Don’t, unless you really want to go to O’Hare instead of the true departure station.
  4. With the figuring complete, move.  To share a quote on my partner’s wall, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

Saving your firm for the future is not like taking a vacation, except when it is.  But remember the role a travel agent can play in making your vacation successful. The odds are, you will need help going through this process.  Ask for it.