Better Than Weeds?

Much has been written about the surplus of lawyers in the legal services marketplace.  While that is a problem for the industry as a whole, the impact on law firms is less direct than another surplus problem – the large excess of office space that many law firms are carrying. We recently did a study […]

How Important is Collegiality?

Ask any law firm managing partner what his or her firm’s culture is like and, more than likely, you’ll hear, “We’re collegial.”  Even though the dictionary tells us that collegiality has something to do with “Power sharing by bishops,”  I suspect that the meaning in law firm parlance involves people liking each other.  Now, I […]

A Really Great Retreat: Five tips for staging a killer law firm partner retreat.

A lawyer recently said to me, “If I found out that I only had two days left to live, I’d want to spend it at my law firm’s partner retreat.  It’s always the longest 48 hours of my life.” Unfortunately law firms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on retreats that many partners find to […]

Breaking the Wall: Six Rules to Managing The Three Million Dollar Practice and Beyond

It is relatively rare to find a major business developer in a law firm who maintains a truly large practice. Certainly there are situations where a partner is the responsible attorney for a large corporate relationship that may involve $10 or $15 million in billings. There are situations where, by virtue of a relationship with […]

Eight Tracks and Cassettes

It’s difficult to pick up any periodical dealing with the practice of law these days without reading about some new trend that is going to revolutionize the relationship of law firms and their clients.   Whether talking about legal project management, outsourcing, alternative fees or corporate legal departments recruiting directly out of law schools, there are […]

Ten Ways to Cut Overhead

As clients become more sensitive to legal fees and law firms are hesitant to raise hourly rates, cost control becomes a primary issue for legal managers.  Of course, the largest expense for law firms is people, both timekeepers and support staff.  But another part of the equation (and a prime target for many law firm […]

Skinny Dipping: The Anatomy of Law Firm Demise

Warren Buffet once said, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” A rough economy tends to reveal those companies and firms that have been trying to “swim naked” and are now getting caught by the receding tide. When you consider the most recent large-scale law firm collapses: Wolf […]

The New Litigation Practice in America

Over the past couple of decades, the strength of US law firms and the growth of legal markets have been measured by the size of transactional practices. From this viewpoint, litigation, at least among law firms listed in the AmLaw 100 and 200, is an important but supportive practice to the M&A and securities engines […]

A Global Survey of Large Law Firm Compensation Practices

While there are continuing differences between compensation practices between U.S. and Canadian firms, and law firms in the rest of the world, findings from the latest Kerma Partners’ survey reveal that global harmonization of performance and compensation management may be more likely than ever. The basis and process used to compensate partners is becoming increasingly […]

Setting Price

This is as good an illustration as to how law firms set price as anything I’ve seen (from the sitcom “Taxi”).