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Category Archives: Business Development

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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

The Dilemma of Managing Partners of Mid-Size Law Firms

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Conflict, Decision-Making, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Risk Management
A recent survey of 75 managing partners of mid-size firms, i.e. mostly 20-75 lawyers, gave an interesting picture of the challenges those leaders are facing. For starters, these MPs have no job description, no identified successor and no exit strategy.  They are provided with no leadership training, and do not have a finalized firm strategic… 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

Communist Leadership and Pornography

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of China, while touring a  job fair in Tianjin last week, China’s President Xi Jiping  answered his own question to a local official as to what the critical ingredients of  good Communist leaders are. “Intelligence quotient and emotional quotient – which is more important?” the president evidently asked.  When the official answered “both,” it was reported that… Continue Reading

The UK Addition to the Three Hundred Pound Chinese Swiss Gorilla

Posted in Business Development, Innovation, Management, Profitability, Risk Management
Coming not long after the disappointment of NOT announcing at their partners meeting in Hong Kong this past March the anticipated merger of King & Wood Mallesons with WongPartnership, KWM is now expected to vote on a merger with SJ Berwin, a UK firm established by Stanley J Berwin in 1982. The effective date is speculated to… Continue Reading

Only Slightly Higher Hopes

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Decision-Making, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Our last post reported on  Citibank’s first quarter financial analysis and noted that in spite of “alarmingly low” growth in demand currently, managing partners of mostly AmLaw 100 firms were exhibiting an unusual display of optimism:   they expect overall demand for legal services to increase this year.  A more nuanced snapshot of managing partner… Continue Reading

Coming Into 2013 with Lower Demand and Higher Hopes

Posted in Business Development, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management
First quarter 2013 results obtained from 166 firms included an “alarming” drop in demand of 3.3% from the comparable quarter for 2012, according to Citibank’s  Law Firm Group.  Lower revenues this year had been anticipated because of last year’s push to capture revenue ahead of 2013’s tax increases.  And revenues were in fact lower, just much… Continue Reading

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

What the White Coats May Be Missing

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Teamwork
Speaking of doctors in white coats, one has identified an attribute that may not rub off onto you when you don your own white coat.  According to Peter Ubel, a physician and behavioral scientist at Duke University, Starbucks employees have better training and are more effective in acting emotionally intelligent than doctors are. In his book Critical… Continue Reading

Notes from the Futures Conference: Part 3

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Culture, Innovation, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork
Here is the third and final installment on some of the highlights from this year’s Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management held at Georgetown Law School at the end of last month: What General Counsel Want From Their Outside Law Firms The panel’s top considerations reflected the same ones outlined in the ACC’s GC Value Insights, prepared in cooperation with a number of… 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

Nice Guys Finish Last? A Meditation on a Questionable Virtue

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Most of us have very high standards for the work we deliver our clients.  We demand from ourselves and those on our team the best possible product. "Performance at whatever price" might be our mantra, even if it requires nagging and criticizing or even bullying.  Yet confrontational environments feel uncomfortable to most people and over the long run are in fact not conducive… 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

Gender and Emotional Intelligence: Women Will Save the World?

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Management
The Dalai Lama proclaimed at the Vancouver Peace Summit a few years back that "the Western woman will save the world."  Of course, he might have been a little heady over the company he was keeping there– Nobel peace laureates Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams and Betty Williams, Mary Robinson, the beloved Irish president and tireless human rights… Continue Reading

The Politics of Place: Where’s Your Office?

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
While it’s unlikely that anyone would attribute all of Research in Motion’s troubles to corporate geography, it’s worth noting that RIM’s two chief executives, both now gone, were located over the last few critical years in offices about a 10-minute drive apart. And, according to former RIM executives, meetings with both of them present were rare. In the… Continue Reading

Clayton Christensen and the Innovator’s Dilemma for Lawyers

Posted in Books, Business Development, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Risk Management
We’ve been quoting Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, for many years.  Christensen once called large American law firms "the most profitable businesses in the world," while at the same time indicting them: "Speedier information-gathering capabilities allow large law firms to increase utilization of less experienced lawyers without passing cost savings on to their customers." … 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

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

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 Commencement of the UK Tsunami

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Management, Profitability, Risk Management
Speaking of the flood of mergers consolidating the legal marketplace, another new wave is also just now hitting that promises to further dilute the piece of the action that law firms have traditionally enjoyed.  At the beginning of this month, the UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority officially opened its doors to at least a dozen applicants, including law… Continue Reading

Consolidation and Competition in 2012

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management
The reports are in for 2011 on mergers and acquisitions in the law firm biz– the pace is picking up— and the prospects for 2012 look to be the same.   US Mergers Hildebrandt reports that 45 mergers that involved U.S. firms were completed last year, a 67% increase over 2010, with the Midwest being a locus of activity,  With 11 U.S. mergers already announced by… 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

Feeling Less and Knowing Less

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management
One of the more interesting findings in emotional intelligence research is that people who read emotional cues in others are generally good at reading their own emotional states and vice-verse—those who read themselves well are likely to read others well also. Conversely, an inability to read either oneself or others signals the corresponding inability. These findings are… Continue Reading