One of a Kind
There are countless ways lawyers can and do compete with one another for work. We have price — what work costs; process — how work is performed; personality — the lawyer’s and her firm’s; place — one’s geographic location; principles — “honesty,” “integrity,” “work ethic.” Those and countless others that don’t start with “p” are all characteristics that lawyers emphasize in an effort to differentiate themselves.
But these are not the fields on which you want to play. Expertise, narrowly defined, is what good clients crave and are willing to pay a premium for. Unlevel the playing field. Become an expert. READ THE REST
Ask the Experts
Question: A partner from a local firm is joining our practice in a few weeks. It’s been several years since we hired a senior lateral attorney, and, honestly, it didn’t go so well the last time we did. Can you give some good tips on integrating a new lateral hire into our firm?
In this edition of “Ask the Experts,” advice on successfully welcoming a new lateral hire into your firm, from Angelino Henry, James Cornell and Robin Weis, all active members of the Association of Legal Administrators. … READ THE REST
Law Practice Management
It’s unavoidable. If the goal you and your colleagues have set for your firm is a high rate of growth, you are going to be banging your heads against a wall every day. So it’s important to know up front whether that wall is made of bricks or gold. Will the gain be worth the pain?
These are the 10 steps I used to accelerate growth at a previous employer from start-up to nearly $1 billion a year — and use today with TheFormTool. While no approach to business will work in every circumstance, these steps are highly adaptable to a law firm — whether a national firm or a solo practice. Depending on the size and complexity of your practice, these steps could take days, weeks or months to fully implement. But if growth is your target, it will be worth it. … READ THE REST
What’s the biggest predictor of a law firm’s success? Hint: It’s not the firm’s bottom line. The No. 1 thing impacting a firm’s long-term viability is client satisfaction. Several articles over the past month highlighted the need for firms to get and stay focused on client service — with issues ranging from core values and new ways of working, to proactive communications and providing a high level of customization. Let’s take a look. … READ THE REST
Sometime before the Great Recession (Depression?), there existed a quaint notion that people could stop working — at least some of the time. Over the course of recent years, however, the line of argumentation has advanced, with advocates of a new wave going about convincing everyone that there is really no such thing as what had been termed work-life balance. There is only your life, intrinsically and hopelessly wrapped around both personal and professional entanglements, at any and all times. … READ THE REST
While the essence of that argument is true, the practical results of such a work-life philosophy give rise to stilted experiences, of dads checking smartphones for potential client messages at children’s birthday parties, and moms hosting conference calls amid arrays of children, pets and television sounds.
But, if the answer to everything we have to do is that we have to do everything all of the time, what is left of pure experience? …
If you’ve never sat bolt upright in bed at 3:17 a.m. convinced that you’ve missed a critical deadline, congratulations. You should bottle your secret and sell it to the rest of us — along with every other productivity guru currently writing a book or developing an app. The supply of productivity systems seems to be expanding, which tells me something: A lot of us are awake at 3:17 a.m.
Over the years, I’ve tried several paper and digital systems to get a handle on the daily stuff of life. Inevitably, though, I end up with notes and reminders in multiple places — usually covered with Post-it notes. I’ve realized two things. One, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of mastering a complicated system’s quirks instead of getting real work done. Two, for this area of my life, I like pen and paper more than electronics. … READ THE REST