How Competitive is Your Firm? The Industry Standard Might Surprise You

I’ve worked with many firms that tell me they do a fair or good job converting leads into contracts. From small to large firms, they tell me that they’re comfortable with their numbers. Their conversion rates are good. They have a system in place. They consistently bring in cases. But when we start discussing their numbers and how they compare with those of similarly-sized firms, they’re often surprised. They…

Reassessing Your Law Firm’s Strategic Planning

It feels like 2018 just started, but we’re already well into the second quarter of the year! No matter if you run a small, medium or large law firm, this time of year is a great time to reset, reassess and make real changes in your strategic planning. If your law firm isn’t where you want it to be, changing your trajectory isn’t as tough as you might think. Assessing Your Law Firm’s Goals Start…

Non-equity partnership

In “traditional” old line law firms, it was typical for a lawyer to join a firm upon graduation from law school, work hard as an associate for five to seven years and then, in most cases, be admitted to equity partnership, staying until death or retirement. Today, many firms, even smaller firms, have two tiers of partners: equity partners and non-equity, income, or contract partners.   Equity partnership…

Are you considering a merger?

Law firms, whether large or small, consider mergers because of perceived benefits such as improved client service, economies of scale or entrance into a new market. Whatever the reason, many mergers fail when due diligence is not used to properly identify the reasons for a merger and to evaluate a potential merger partner. The following are some of the considerations in making the decision whether…

Paperless Office

With a paperless office, attorneys and support staff can find documents without having to leave their desks or rummage through file cabinets or boxes. Also, when it comes time to close files, it is a simple matter to drag them from an active work directory to an archive directory, thus eliminating the need to find space to store retired files.   The components necessary to make a paperless office…

Partnership Track

In “traditional” old line law firms, it was typical for a lawyer to join a firm upon graduation from law school, work hard as an associate for five to seven years and then, in most cases, be admitted to equity partnership, staying until death or retirement. Today, even for smaller law firms, it is common to have at least two tiers of partners: equity partners who share directly in the profits of the…

Private equity firms starting new for-profit law schools targeting students with lower LSAT scores

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal commented on a private equity company that runs for-profit law schools which target students whose LSAT scores don’t qualify them for admission to the top law schools. In an era in which there already are far more students graduating from law school than there are entry level jobs for lawyers, is it a good idea to be starting new law schools with lower admission…

Do generational differences in your firm cause friction?

Does the workforce in your firm have significant generational differences among lawyers and/or support staff? Through the study we did for a presentation to Iowa Managing partners and firm Administrators, we learned that there are wide differences between the generations. Baby boomers, for example, tend to be workaholics, whereas younger people (Millennials) demand more of a work-life balance. More…

Millennials

Today’s law school grads and younger support staff are members of the Millennial generation (ages 18-34). Many law firms have hired, or are contemplating hiring, members of this generation. They grew up texting, using smart phones and social media. Some have a reputation for lack of professionalism, having a sense of entitlement, being unfocused employees and lacking in work ethic. Our research…

Discounting Legal Fees?

A recent Wall Street Journal article discussing legal fees stated that many clients during the recession grew accustomed to pushing back on price, and that for the bread-and-butter work many law firms rely on, haggling on fees has become the norm. How about you-do your clients ask for discounts on their fees, and if so, do you haggle, or insist on your going rate?

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