What We Do

How we work with clients

  • 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—though of course our recommendations are based on our understanding of each firm’s distinctions.  We go 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” approach.
  • 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 desire to reinvent the wheel.
  • We provide our unvarnished opinions though we recognize that you are the client—and we’ll be highly supportive of whatever decisions are ultimately taken.
  • As to be expected, we approach all our work with the utmost confidentiality, discretion, and probity.

 

Services

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

Strategic plans
A strategic plan need not, in fact should not be a lengthy document; it should be able to be distilled into a single page. Rather it should be a crisp articulation of where the firm is, key strategies for going forward, priority opportunities to focus on and action items that will deliver on the firm’s goals.   Learn more…

Opportunity assessment boot camps
Coming out of this half-day workshop, you’ll have a very good sense of your firm’s or practice area’s priorities for growth, investment (and divestment) – and action plans for each priority.  Learn more..

How to identify your best opportunities
No firm has infinite resources to pursue all possible opportunities.  In fact, “doing a little bit of everything” is often a recipe for disaster.  Learn more…

Does your strategic plan need a tune-up?
Do the same assumptions hold as when it was first developed?  Are the market dynamics shifting?  It may be time to re-visit the plan.  At Adam Smith, Esq. we don’t believe this situation always requires starting from scratch.  Learn more…

How to ensure strategic plans actually happen
Securing buy-in to a plan at a law firm can be easily as challenging as developing the plan itself.  Learn more…

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.   Learn more…

Mergers

For the past several years, law firm merger activity has been growing.  This is understandable in the current “battle for market share” environment, but 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.   Learn more…

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.   Learn more…

Research—how to know what you don’t know

At Adam Smith, Esq., we have experience in all kinds of research techniques so we can employ the best methodology to get the answers you need.  From online surveys to, say, assess firmwide issues – to one-on-one or 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.

Opportunity assessment boot camps
Coming out of this half-day workshop, you’ll have a very good sense of your firm’s or practice area’s priorities for growth, investment (and divestment) – and action plans for each priority.  Learn more…

How to identify your best opportunities
No firm has infinite resources to pursue all possible opportunities.  In fact, “doing a little bit of everything” is often a recipe for disaster.  Learn more…

External audits – does the outside view jibe with the internal view?
In an increasingly competitive marketplace for clients and laterals you need to know how critical external audiences view your firm.  Learn more…

How collaborative is your firm?  Take our survey and find out.
There is substantial research supporting the bottom-line importance of collaboration at law firms; it retards client attrition, increases client satisfaction as well as firm and per-lawyer revenue.  Our objective survey helps dimensionalize how collaborative your firm really is and how to address obstacles or barriers.  Learn more…

Whitepapers
How do firms and vendors establish their credentials with the marketplace?  One very effective tool is 3rd party White Papers.  At Adam Smith, Esq., we have extensive experience preparing trenchant, provocative White Papers.  Read more…   Learn more…


 

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.