Services

How we work with clients

Adam Smith, Esq. Consulting  Services  offers law firms deep analysis and concrete solutions leading to meaningful increases in performance—helping  firms better prepare for tomorrow.

We work with firms of all sizes in all market segments.  In every engagement, our overriding goal is to achieve meaningful improvements in performance through genuine insights into their business.  Based in New York, we operate across the US and globally.

  • We approach each assignment as agnostics. By that, we mean we have no pre-conceived notions of what will or will not work at a particular firm. Our recommendations are based on each firm’s distinctions as seen through the lens of our decades of experience in law and business.  We follow where our research and other available information lead us, with outputs informed by our deep understanding of the legal industry and other industries where we can draw applicable insights. Our work is deliberate, though not formulaic. We approach our work with energy, creativity and an open mind. Our ideal client is prepared to engage with us in an “idea-friendly” environment.
  • We work collaboratively with our clients. This means among other things that we’ll check in regularly during the process and will seek your inputs along the way. This allows for flexibility and mid-course corrections as the need arises, and ultimately, in our opinion, leads to preferred outcomes. We view proposals as starting points for conversations, not finished documents.
  • We look to incorporate a client’s existing, relevant material – backgrounders, data, interviews, insights, etc. into our work; we have neither the inclination nor the desire to reinvent the wheel.
  • We provide our unvarnished opinions and we will tell you what we think. But we promise to be very nice about it, and we recognize that you are the client—meaning that we’ll be highly supportive of whatever decisions are ultimately taken.
  • As you should expect, we approach all our work with the utmost confidentiality, discretion, and probity.

Strategy

Strategic Development at Law Firms is a serious and necessary undertaking for a firm. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the hypothesis — which we subscribe to — that firms who (a) have compelling strategies (b) and stick to them are more successful than firms who don’t.

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Compensation

We believe that incentives matter and if you watch how lawyers behave you will find them closely attuned to the behaviors that bring the greatest rewards at year end. That’s why many firms come to us for counsel on their compensation structures—from a tweak to a clean-sheet-of-paper overhaul.

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Mergers

For the past several years, law firm merger activity has been growing. This is understandable in the current environment, which is defined, for all but the most elite and privileged firms, by the battle for market share. Still, the industry continues to see combinations that appear odd or inexplicable. We can work with you to approach such critical and transformative events with discipline, rigor, and strategic acuity.

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Workshops

Short, intensive half-day training sessions and group exercises can go a long way towards giving lawyers at your firm a shared vocabulary and assumptions, set of priorities, and agreed-upon action items.

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Research

How to know what you don’t know.
At Adam Smith, Esq., we have experience in a wide variety of research techniques so we can employ the best methodology to get the answers you need. From online surveys to assess firmwide issues – to one-on-one or focused group interviews with partners, key stakeholders and external audiences – we have the right tools to unearth key issues and opportunities at your firm. Each research undertaking is customized to the needs and resources of each client.

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Retreats & Conferences

The costs of putting together and attending law firm retreats and industry conferences, both in time and financial outlays, can be considerable. We’ve worked with dozens of firms and other organizations to help ensure that the outcomes are more than commensurate with the investment — as evidenced by the many clients who keep inviting us back.

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What we do not do:

We do not consult on the following topics, although we know several firms and individuals who can provide exceptional service in each of these areas and are happy to offer recommendations:

  • Individual coaching or mentoring;
  • HR issues;
  • IT from the technical perspective (as opposed to its strategic dimension, such as Knowledge Management)


Based in Manhattan, we operate globally, not only throughout the US, but from China and Brazil to the UK, EU, Canada, and Australia.

Where We’ll Be

There’s no substitute for face to face. Meeting in person invites nuance, shading, adds dimensions to communication, and fosters stronger relationships. So, we travel. Here are a few of our upcoming locations. Are you in the area? Want to meet? Let us know.

Barcelona
October 18, 2016 Barcelona
London
October 24, 2016 London
Prague
May 14, 2017 Prague
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Publications

Contact

Bruce MacEwen, President
Email
direct: +1.212.866.4800
mobile: .+1.212.866.2630
New York

Janet Stanton, Partner
Email
direct: +1.212.866.4270
mobile: .+1.917.692.3927
New York

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