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Category Archives: Profitability

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The Psychology of Malpractice

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Does low emotional intelligence (EI) put lawyers at higher risk for malpractice liability? Lawyers test at low emotional intelligence compared to the general population and other professions. They are particularly low in a critical component of emotional intelligence: emotional perception, or awareness of their own and others’ emotions. Being out of touch with one’s emotions has been… Continue Reading

More on Love and the Law

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
In our 2013 entry “The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?“, we noted the movement toward integrative law, which  “Pauline Tesler, director of the Integrative Law Institute, believes… is the next ‘huge wave coming to the legal profession.’ As she explains, this type of practice is aimed at ‘out-of-court solutions and the well-being of… Continue Reading

Leadership: What Really Matters

Posted in Conflict, Decision-Making, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
According to an article in the January 2015 McKinsey and Company Quarterly Newsletter, Decoding leadership: What Really Matters,”[o]ver 90 percent of CEOs are already planning to increase investment in leadership development because they see it as the single most important human-capital issue their organizations face. And they’re right to do so: earlier McKinsey research has consistently… Continue Reading

Stress for Better and Worse

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” lists stress and burnout as the top two issues leaders worldwide wrestle with. “Burnout” is a syndrome caused by excessive stress which can produce physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  Burnout is the end game… Continue Reading

Muir to Speak at ABA Webinar on Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
On Friday, February 13th, at 1 to 2 ET, Muir and psychologist Rob Durr will be presenting a program on EQ: What it is and Why it Matters in an American Bar Association Career Advice webinar.  They will be discussing how high emotional intelligence can transform a good lawyer into a great one. Learn: What emotional intelligence is… 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 Intersection of Law and Psychology

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
On February 21-22 of this year, the Boyd School of Law and Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas held a very interesting conference on Psychology and Lawyering.  Attendance and enthusiasm were high and organizers anticipate future conferences well-fueled with the expanding research on these related areas. Here are some… Continue Reading

Telling it Straight

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Jennifer Alvey “is a recovering lawyer who was once one of the 20% of Feelers in law firms.”  Now she coaches other lawyers in the Nashville area, many of whom are miserable practicing law. In her post “Why Are There So Many Asshole Lawyers?”, she tells it straight about her and her clients’ experiences in “dysfunctional”… Continue Reading

Diversity in Personal Style

Posted in Announcements, Conflict, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Muir spoke at the Center for Legal Inclusiveness Summit  in Denver, Colorado on Monday, May 12, a well-run event drawing people from all directions, despite a spring snowstorm.  Muir’s topic was “Achieving the Advantages of Diversity in Personal Style,” a review of the narrow personal style profile that prevails in many legal organizations, the hazards… 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

The State of the Marketplace

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Recruitment
Ladies and Gentlemen, looks like we have consensus about our situation.  Or almost. The Report on the State of the Legal Market (Peer Monitor/Georgetown) came out in early January followed by the Citi Private Bank 2014 Client Advisory (Hildebrandt) a week later. The Report on the State of the Legal Market noted an overall drop in demand for 2013… Continue Reading

Paying Attention to What Matters

Posted in Books, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Wellness
The cover title of the Time Magazine issue coming out Monday, February 3 is  “Mindful Nation.” The ultimate benefit of mindfulness is that it improves our ability to focus our attention, which is sorely needed in our 21st century lives.  Improvements in focusing attention in turn increase our ability to both perceive and regulate our emotions, as… Continue Reading

Sharpening Our Prediction Skills

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
The Lawyer’s Global Litigation Top 50 2013 annual survey of senior in-house UK lawyers has found that projected litigation costs provided by counsel to their corporate clients were off by as much as 100%, with the average being 40%. “[E]ven experienced law firms are often woefully inept at accurately forecasting litigation costs,” the report concluded. That mis-forecasting… 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 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