Articles By Bob and Jan Henderson, Legal Consultants to Small to Mid-Size Law Firms

Legal Consulting Articles

Operations Analysis For a Law Firm

Operations Analysis An in depth operations analysis will encompass any and all issues that a firm may be dealing with, including firm profitability, management and governance, attorney productivity, partner and associate compensation, practice development, office administration, dealing with senior partners, planning for the future-you name it. Although I am flexible depending on the circumstances,…

Performance Evaluations for Members of Law Firm Staff

To be truly effective, evaluations should go way beyond those tried and true, but nevertheless tired old principles, such as having measurable standards. The process should never be treated as a perfunctory exercise, but rather as opportunities: first, to value the person being evaluated; and second, to share and engage the employee in the firm’s vision and goals. People are valuable; a reputation…

7 Areas Where Simple Waste Eats Up the Profits of a Law Firm

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XVIII / Number 9 SEPTEMBER 2009 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company)   Seven areas where simple waste eats up the profits   AND ALL SEVEN ARE EASY TO GET RID OF   A tight economy doesn’t allow for waste. Yet waste there is in just about all firms, and it lurks in places where no one thinks to look.…

Some Pokes and Prods to Get a Law Firm’s Billers to Turn in Time on Time

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XVIII / Number 6 JUNE 2009 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company)   Some pokes and prods to get the billers to turn in time on time Late bills spell lost revenue. Time needs to come in and bills need to go out no less frequently than weekly. Let it go beyond that, “and the losses can be signifi­cant,”…

Leveraging a Law Firm’s Associates and Paralegals

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XVII / Number 5 MAY 2008 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company) Leverage the work for more income and more profit BUT IT MAY TAKE SOME PARTNER PRODDING Want to improve the profits? Get the partners to stop hogging the work. There’s more money to be had by funneling work to the associates, says practice…

How to Meet, Greet and Win Respect From a Law Firm’s New Managing Partner

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XVI / Number 11 NOVEMBER 2007 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company) How to meet, greet, and win respect from a new managing partner There’s a new sheriff in town. Well, new managing partner anyway. And in most firms, the managing part­ner ascends to the position with scarcely any experi­ence in management,…

The Ins, Outs, and Terms of the Engagement Letter for a Law Firm

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XVI / Number 6 JUNE 2007 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company) The ins, outs, and terms of the engagement letter WHO, WHAT, AND HOW MUCH It tells who’s representing whom for what and for how much. Its purpose is to see that the firm gets paid and stays out of arguments, whether about the representation…

How to Deal With Nonproductive Partners in a Law Firm

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XI / Number 7 JULY 2002 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company) How to deal with – and how to avoid – nonproductive partners Not sure what to do with that underperforming part­ner? Many law firms are on the same sinking ship. In fact, the problem of underperforming partners is “right up there with compensation…

Dealing With an Alcoholic Partner in a Law Firm

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume XI / Number 7 JULY 2002 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company) The alcoholic partner: an unpleasant situation that has to be addressed Ignore a partner’s alcohol problem at the firm’s peril, mainly the peril of lost clients and charges of malpractice. Both alcohol and drug abuse are high among attor­neys,…

Put Some Long-Term Planning into a Partner’s Retirement From a Law Firm

THE NEWSLETTER FOR LEGAL OFFICE MANAGERS LAW OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Volume X / Number 7 JULY 2001 (Reprinted with permission of Ardmore Publishing Company)   Put some long-term planning into partner retirement HOW NOT TO LOSE THE CLIENTS - OR THE FIRM Partner retirement is a watershed event, particularly when the partner has originated a large portion of the business or is dominant in the firm’s…

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