Practice Group Management

Organizational Behavior: A Manual

A week or so ago, I happened across a training manual offering instructions on proper behavior within organizations. Here I take the liberty of quoting extensively from it. I ask one favor of you and one element of forbearance. The favor is to kindly ask yourself as you read it whether these behaviors are reflective
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Practice Group Management

Leadership: And How to Squander It

Altman Weil’s annual Law Firms in Transition survey, the 2015 edition, was just published, and as usual it makes for some fascinating reading—at least for me and I suspect for many of the devotees of Adam Smith, Esq. As you may know, this is the seventh year they’ve done this survey in more or less
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Articles, Client Relationships, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Strategy

A Client Value Guarantee?

Today I want to discuss what, I imagine, many readers will thing is a hare-brained idea; and then I want to explain why, if you adopted this idea, your own behavior would change such that it might not end up being hare-brained in the least. Both dimensions of this discussion, I believe, have value, although
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Articles, Business Models, Client Relationships, Finance, Marketing, Practice Group Management

“Collegial and Collaborative?” Really? (Take Two)

Two weeks ago we invited you to take a survey (three to five minutes of your time, tops) to try to get to the bottom of whether law firms are really "collegial and collaborative," as they are perennially asserting. If you missed your chance the first time around, here it is again: A gentle reminder,
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Articles, Client Relationships, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management

“Collegial & Collaborative?”: Let’s Find Out

We’ve written before about law firms’ nearly universal use of the terms “collegial” and “collaborative” to define what makes their cultures, each and every one, special. So indiscriminate is this usage that we find it not just promiscuous but bordering on wanton, and becoming in and of itself devoid of meaning. On the other hand.
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Articles, Client Relationships, Cultural Considerations, Marketing, Practice Group Management

Pricing Power

The growth of professionals in Law Land with the word “pricing” in their title has been explosive over the past couple of years. It’s a trend we applaud loudly and fervently, so perhaps it’s worth a primer on how it’s done in the major leagues: When B2B companies with thousands of SKU’s and tens or
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Marketing, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Law Firm Profitability Conference

Regular readers know that some of the “evergreen” topics here on Adam Smith, Esq. include: The theme that profits matter more than revenue—but that remarkably few partners think in those terms; The inevitable invasion of Law Land by Big Data in all its many guises and implications; Clients’ having seized the steering wheel out of
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Articles, Finance, Practice Group Management

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

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