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Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Recruitment

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Lawyer Personalities at Above the Law

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
Above the Law columnist Susan Moon, an in-house lawyer at Wyndham Worldwide, gave our The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers a nice plug last week, just hours after much of the data in it was discussed at a presentation at Yale Law School.  An older article (since updated) and a “bit on the dry side,”… 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 Futures Conference: Part 2

Posted in Books, Client Service, Culture, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession
The following is a second installment about some of the highlights from this year’s Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management held at Georgetown Law School the end of October: Hiring and Training Successful Lawyers Georgetown Law School reported on two research projects they are undertaking–“Integration and Fragmentation in the Modern Law Firm” and “Developing Attorneys… 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

Testing for Better Hiring

Posted in Diversity, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
A series of articles in the Wall Street Journal last week discussed the trend in corporate America toward using analysis of data obtained through personality and other questionnaires from employees to guide better long-term hiring. The information obtained from employees coupled with their work histories gives employers, particularly of large workforces with potentially large turnover rates, a better predictive… Continue Reading

The Diversity Myth Revisited

Posted in Announcements, Diversity, Productivity, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Muir’s entry "What Do Women Want? Challenging the Diversity Myth" was republished in June’s Law Practice Today, the monthly webzine of the ABA Law Practice Management Section. The article will also be used in the workshop at the ABA meeting this July, entitled "LPM Diversity and Inclusion Workshop: The New Look of Law Practice Management."… Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing the Legal Industries Financial Landscape with LXBN TV

Posted in Client Service, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management
Following up our most recent post, Ronda Muir had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN on the trying times the legal industry is currently facing. In this short interview, she explains some of the more telling numbers, what might be behind them and what the legal  industry must do to adapt. … Continue Reading

Muir to Speak on Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir of Law People Management LLC, Randall Kiser of DecisionSet, and Daniel S. Bowling III of Duke Law School will be co-presenting a Center for Competitive Management audio presentation on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2pm EDT entitled "Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence." The presentation will cover the relatively new science of emotional intelligence, its relationship to… Continue Reading

Muir to Present Webinar on Emotional Intelligence and Lawyering

Posted in Announcements, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir of Law People Management LLC, Randall Kiser of DecisionSet, and Daniel S. Bowling III of Duke Law School will be co-presenting a Center for Competitive Management audio presentation on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2pm EDT entitled "Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence." The presentation will cover the relatively new science of emotional intelligence, its relationship to… Continue Reading

Women Leaders and What Sabotages Them

Posted in Coaching, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Succession
Are women really worth a damn as leaders? Or is the diversification effort–from those cozy women’s initiatives to the hard-headed firm strategies to avoid sexual harassment suits–simply political correctness writ large? There’s been a lot said from both sides of the aisle recently. And from some surprising corners. The Hay Group recently announced that, from a  series of in-depth interviews… Continue Reading

Embracing The Next New Thing–Or Getting Run Over By It?

Posted in Client Service, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of the industry being "over-lawyered," one of the reasons that that conclusion is being reached is because of the impact of incoming new technologies, which are not even yet being fully felt in the industry–technologies that both raise the hope of more targeted and cost-efficient client service while at the same time spelling the demise of many back-office, data slogging, routinized legal jobs.  The current… 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

Updates Galore: Hospitality, ABSs and Law School Hell

Posted in Client Service, Ethics, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Recruitment, Risk Management
There’s so much going on in the legal world these days, it’s hard to keep up.  Here are some updates on topics we’ve covered recently.  Hospitality In connection with our entry Bringing the Hospitality Mind-Set to the Law is this recent inquiry into what makes a small hotel with no designer touches or fancy perks like restaurants or… 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

It’s That Time of Year Again: Bonuses

Posted in Compensation, Management, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
Last week The Wall Street Journal reported that Cravath, Swaine & Moore, the industry pacemaker in this matter, announced that it will keep associate year-end bonuses for 2011 the same as last year–$7,500 for a first year associate up to $37,500 for  the most senior associates.  Not only are these bonuses far below 2007, when first years received a total of $45,000 and seventh-years… Continue Reading

Invalidating Work/Life Balance?

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
This past August a court dismissed an EEOC discrimination suit against Bloomberg contending that the company had systematically discriminated against pregnant women or those who recently returned to work from maternity leave. The judge, New York district court judge Loretta Preska, saw the EEOC’s essential charge to be that  Bloomberg, as a company policy, did not provide work/life balance for its employees, which… Continue Reading

Emotional Intelligence At Work–The Crux of Hiring and Promotion

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Risk Management
In a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2600 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide, 71% said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ and 34% said they are placing even greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring and promoting employees post-recession.  And 59% said they would not hire someone who has a high IQ… Continue Reading

The Advantages of Depression

Posted in Assessments, Decision-Making, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Recruitment, Risk Management, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
The rate of depression among lawyers is widely recognized as a multiple–in some studies a double-digit multiple–of the rate of depression in the general population and also in other professions.  This rate is high by the second semester of law school and only escalates over time. There has been speculation as to whether depression in lawyers is a condition… Continue Reading

Beauty Is As Beauty Does? Cashing In On Beauty

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Diversity, Profitability, Recruitment, Work Satisfaction
Perhaps your mother’s adage about what makes for beautiful is not entirely correct.  It was recently announced that economists at the University of Texas-Austin analyzed data from five large surveys of more than 25,000 people conducted between 1971 and 2009 in the US, Canada, Germany and Britain and came up with what may or may not… Continue Reading