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Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Compensation

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Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
I am pleased to announce that Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence is today (along with the eclipse) available here on the ABA Shop website. This is the first comprehensive guide to understanding and raising emotional intelligence in the unique context of law practice. It covers a myriad of topics, including: What emotional intelligence means, its research… Continue Reading

Happiest of Holidays!

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
From Law People Management to you and yours, we wish you peace, prosperity and good health during the holidays and throughout the New Year. To that end, we are pleased to announce the publication by the American Bar Association of our book The Emotional Intelligence Edge for 21st Century Lawyers currently scheduled for summer of… Continue Reading

Lawyers in Conflict

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
Having just finished an interesting assignment helping a firm resolve conflict among its ranks, I am freshly reminded of what it is that puts lawyers into conflict and then keeps them there.  So please indulge me in this seat-of-the-pants riff (for the record, none of which, of course, applies to any of my clients). Lawyers are on… Continue Reading

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow Up to be Lawyers: A Preview

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
In anticipation of a white paper on the persistent question of why there isn’t greater gender diversity in the practice of law, here’s a look at a few of the salient points: Women have comprised roughly half of law graduates for a number of decades, and have been consistently over-represented at the top of their… Continue Reading

Competitors of the Future Arriving Now

Posted in Business Development, Compensation, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized
Maybe it’s just us, but the announcement of the departure from Fried Frank of a former managing partner and some of her department carries with it intimations of several current trends in the law business: the British are coming, the accounting firms are coming, and you’d better take a second look at both your profitability and your… Continue Reading

The Decline of the Seduction of Practicing Law

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized
If there were any question as to whether there is an over-supply of lawyers in the US, the recent spate of reports should lay that to rest. As Steve Harper noted in a January American Lawyer article, “Eighty-five percent of today’s newest lawyers are carrying six-figure law school debt. Only about half of all those graduating… Continue Reading

What About Just Being Nice?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Compensation, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So you’re not really feeling the love?  Or even the compassion?  How about being nice–can you at least get into being nice? Fitting nicely into our recent blog posts about the more heartful arts, the November/December 2013 issue of the ABA Law Practice Magazine is entitled “The Business of Giving,” and features a story entitled “Being Nice.”… Continue Reading

The Value of a Law Degree

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized
The law school viability debate continues to rage, with enough fingers to point in every possible direction.  A recent study entitled “The Economic Value of a Law Degree,” and dubbed by one commentator “the one paper every law professor and law school dean should read,” supports the law school view, decrying the “hue and cry… made… Continue Reading

No Growth and Hands Out

Posted in Business Development, Compensation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Risk Management, Uncategorized
A flurry of reports this month on law firm financial results for the first half of 2013 have come in with fairly uniformly disappointing news. Flat Growth Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group reports that “while the industry is no longer in freefall… tepid demand and intense pricing pressure continue to plague most firms.”  Rate growth… Continue Reading

Clueless at the Top?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Innovation, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
While workers with high emotional intelligence are consistently the best performers on all steps of the corporate ladder, interestingly enough it is those at the top level of management who have the lowest overall average emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)  in organizations. Prompting one journalist to contend that “Your Boss Probably Wouldn’t Pass Yale’s Emotional Intelligence… Continue Reading

Shall We Raise the Profits of Partners? Weil Says “Yes”?

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Innovation, Management, Productivity, Profitability
In a followup to our earlier post asking whether firms should raise the profits of partners, it looks like, for at least one prominent firm, the answer may be “Yes!” At least, for some partners. We noted that according to the latest AmLaw 100 data for 2012,  “[t]he largest PPP drops were Fried Frank’s 16.8%… Continue Reading

Shall We Raise the Profits of Partners?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
The Altman-Weil 5th annual survey of law firm leaders has been recently published to much commentary. Some of the more striking results of the survey relate to leaders’ assessment of the market challenges (primarily reflecting the viewpoints of 250+lawyer law firms) and their firms’ ability to meet them.  Over the next 24 months, most managers cited the… Continue Reading

Attrition is Back!

Posted in Compensation, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
A question was posed recently in the press: – "Why are lawyers such terrible managers?"  The article appeared in CNN’s online Money/Fortune magazine.  It cites statistics from the National Association for Legal Professionals Foundation that in 2010 law firms with 100 and fewer lawyers and 251-500 attorneys lost nearly one fifth of their associates.  This is after the… Continue Reading

Who Wants to Go to Law School?

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Culture, Law Education, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management
Given our last entry, it is not surprising that law school applications have been going down dramatically over the last few years. With the high cost of law school, the paucity of jobs (only half the number of jobs as there are law school graduates) and the dimming career and earnings prospects for lawyers who do get law jobs, young… Continue Reading

Law School–the Bomb

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Work Satisfaction
There aren’t many developments in the legal industry that literally bowl you over–okay, the demise of Dewey & LeBoeuf was a fast-paced shocker. Hearing over the last few months questions about the future viability of one or another well-respected law school has been another.  Let’s review the bidding in that part of the legal field:  Unprepared to Practice.  There… Continue Reading

Notes from the 2012 Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management: Part 1

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Diversity, Leadership, Management, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management
The following are some of the highlights from this year’s Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management held at Georgetown Law School last week: New Model Law Firms New entrants into law firm alternative business models are Clearspire, which consists of 2 joined companies –one providing legal services to clients and the other providing… Continue Reading

The Flat Demand Crisis

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management
Citi’s Midyear Report on the state of the legal industry for the first 6 months of this year is a cautionary read, harrowingly notable for its brevity. "[W]e’re now concerned that this year the legal industry may be unable to match 2011’s low single-digit profit growth. There are three reasons for our concern: demand growth slowed during… Continue Reading

Current Financial

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management
Here is the latest on the financial state of the US legal industry. Citibank reported last month that during the first quarter of 2012, demand for legal services grew a paltry 1.5%, although at least reversing the decline in the 2011 fourth quarter. But expense growth of 5.9% outpaced the meager revenue growth (1.2%) even more than in 2011–a rise… Continue Reading

Dewey & LeBoeuf: Probing the Wreckage and the Reasons

Posted in Communication, Compensation, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management, White Papers
As another pundit among many slowing down to rubber neck the wreckage strewn from the Dewey & LeBoeuf crash, it’s hard to know where to start. The question that hovered on everyone’s minds since earlier in the year, as the media dissected every move there, was whether we were watching the disintegration, again, of a major law firm: one which… Continue Reading

Downsizing the Legal Industry

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management
In case anyone questions whether the legal industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation, you might consider some of these developments:  The number of US law school applicants is down almost 25%, or over 200,000 applicants, over the last two years. Which might be in part because the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over the next ten years only… Continue Reading

Bringing the Hospitality Mind-Set to the Law

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of hospitality, during the 6th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo in San Francisco last month,Chip Conley, the founder of the hotel chain Joie de Vivre, said that most leaders have strong IQs, but far fewer have EQs—emotional intelligence—to match, and that can be detrimental to business. Why? 1) Emotions are more contagious than viruses, so… Continue Reading

International Women’s Day: Women and the Paris Bar

Posted in Compensation, Diversity, Recruitment, Retention, Work/Life Balance
At first glance, you as a woman lawyer might be tempted to pull up stakes and take yourself to Paris: according to a report by the Paris Bar, after rapid increases in the number of female law graduates there over the last few years, the number of registered women lawyers now outstrips the men, the women start practicing… Continue Reading

The Challenges of Lateral Hiring

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The American Lawyer has just issued its Report on Laterals 2012, in which it found that in the 12 months ending September 30, 2011, 2,454 partners left or joined Am Law 200 firms, for a 22% increase over 2010, when there was the lowest number of moves since 2000. "This year’s figure was consistent with the annual average of 2,458 partner moves… Continue Reading

The “Blame It On Law School” Controversy, or Unrequited Law Students

Posted in Compensation, Culture, Ethics, Law Education, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Perhaps the only players in the legal world getting a harsher strafing these days than law firms are law schools.  The biggest complaints are 1) financial: that they unfairly entice students into their folds on promises of big payday legal jobs that most will never have a shot at and that the law schools do so at tuition rates that impose mortgage-sized… Continue Reading