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Category Archives: Profitability

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The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Mindful of Rev. King’s exhortation to leaven power with love, remember the Doonesbury character Woodrow proclaiming “By God, I love the law!”  Well, there’s a perspective afoot in the legal industry that may take that sentiment and turn it on its head.  It sounds something like “the law is all about love!” According to an… Continue Reading

And Further in the Bad News Department…

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized
As if we needed any further confirmation of the dropping demand for legal services, TyMetrix, the giant electronic billing clearing house, recently reported their “LegalView Legal Market Index,”  based on the purchases of legal services by the LegalView 70.  These are 70 large corporate clients across eight industries, 21 of which are Fortune 500, with… 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

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

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

Muir to Present at Yale Law School

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir, Esq., will present a seminar at Yale Law School on March 13, 2013 on "The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers–Strategies for a Successful and Satisfying Career."  She will review data from research with respect to personality assessments, positive psychology, conflict management, the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and emotional intelligence showing the particular characteristics of lawyers that… 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

Adjusting to the New Normal

Posted in Profitability
The takeaway from a review of the financial news on law firm economics for 2012 is, as the aptly titled "The Boom Years Are Not Coming Back" proclaims: Firms "can no longer rely on a rising tide that lifts all boats. In fact, the tide is out."   In particular, that client advisory produced by Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group… 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

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

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

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

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

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

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