Compensation

The “Big Three” Annual Reports on Law Land

With the release last week of the Annual Report from Georgetown Law’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, the “Big Three” annual reports—Altman-Weil’s Law Firms in Transition, Citi/Hildebrandt’s Client Advisory, and Georgetown’s—are now all out and we can see what trends and developments they seem to discuss in common. Even armchair students of
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Associate Comp & Econ 101

This will not be a lecture. However. In the course of navigating published analysis and coverage of our beloved industry, I can rely on regularly coming across pat assertions displaying such frightful ignorance of basic economics that I’m forced to conclude the speakers’ only encounter with Economics 101 was seeing it listed in a course
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Recruiting

“Collegial & Collaborative?” Guess Again

A few months ago we invited you all to take a survey addressing how truly “collegial and collaborative” your firm is, and how well prepared you felt (a) to be able to knowledgeably point clients towards cross-serving opportunities and (b) to be rewarded internally for doing so. We probed your thoughts on these issues in
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Articles, Business Models, Client Relationships, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership

Letter from London: Part I

We recently returned from London on business, and this will be the first of a few installments presenting our thoughts given the benefit of 17 meetings in five business days. As you know, we work globally with firms of all sizes in a wide variety of markets with every permutation of office footprint and practice
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Your Opinion Please on the AmLaw Numbers

Last week I published a column asking you to weigh in on how reliable you believe the AmLaw numbers to be – and your firm’s degree of participation in the survey. (Firms that aren’t AmLaw reporting firms can simply record that fact as their answer.) Our reasons for doing this are utterly straightforward: The AmLaw rankings
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Articles, Compensation, Finance

Accountability? Who, Me?

Russell Long (1918—2003) was a US Senator from Louisiana for nearly 40 years (1948—1987) and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for nearly half that period. As such, he was an expert on the US tax code and, legend has it, observed that the realities of politics meant any effort to enact “tax reform” could
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting

Checkbook Recruiting

From the Kirkland & Ellis site, under the topic Careers–>Laterals Overview (I quote in full, emphasis supplied): At Kirkland, the quality and experience of our lawyers are among our greatest strengths. We are committed to making a substantial investment in our lateral hires by fostering an environment in which they are seamlessly integrated into our
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Recruiting, Strategy

Partners Behaving Badly

The other day we were in a meeting with the head of strategy and marketing and the Chair of an AmLaw 100, and the Chair mentioned an extremely promising introductory meeting he’d had a few days earlier with the General Counsel of a well-recognized company. Although the GC and the Chair had never met, the company already
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Letter from Near and Far

Gentle Reader: Apologies for not having published more frequently over the past couple of weeks but business has taken us to Paris, the south of France, London, Portland, and Seattle–with 48 hours in New York inbetween the European and the Pacific Northwest trips. We met with firms ranging from the Magic and Silver Circle to US-based
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Do You Love What You Do? Really?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about leadership—something of a first here at Adam Smith, Esq., at least calling it out explicitly by that name—and the topic deserves revisiting and elaboration. My article took off from an HBR piece, Why You Lead Determines How Well You Lead, but it in turn relied on research
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy