Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Category Archives: Law Firm Leadership

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Finding the Right Law Firm Merger Candidate-Five Fundamentals

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers are a regular occurrence in today’s American legal landscape.  Large or small, they happen because law firms and their leaders see merger has meeting a perceived need.  Whether seeking greater market share, pursuing untapped lucrative markets, responding to a demographic challenge, or fixing inadequate succession preparations, a merger can represent the right… Continue Reading

Considering Law Firm Merger? Four Disciplined Steps to Getting It Right

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
In the case of many law firms competing in today’s legal environment, growth is important.  Some growth is done quietly while other expansion is discussed widely.  Growth in the form of law firm merger gets everyone’s attention-indeed announcements about law firms joining together in merger seem to be made weekly. For every merger announced there… Continue Reading

Adapt or Die – 4 Steps to Law Firm Sustainability

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change – Einstein     Adapting to change – At first blush the need to adapt is so obvious there would seem to be no need to discuss it. Then we see firm after firm, small to large, fail because of a reluctance, unwillingness or sheer inability to… Continue Reading

Five Keys to an Effective Law Firm Divorce-Being Smart When the Thrill is Gone

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Transition
“A discord of personalities” sometimes describes the genesis for marital divorce.  It also can be an apt way to explain law firm break-ups when partners decide to go their separate ways.  Although law firm break-ups happen regularly, the low level of publicity surrounding most can be due to partners acting rationally even though they can’t… Continue Reading

Is it Time to Restructure/Reposition Your Law Firm?

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!    Winston Churchill Law Firms, like all… Continue Reading

The Important First Step in Law Firm Client Succession

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Succession planning of client relationships at law firms requires a thoughtful examination of a law firm’s past, present and future.  Managing the transition of a senior lawyer’s practice to younger counterparts is not easy.  Poorly understood and executed, it can result in a loss of both valuable business and a cherished colleague.  The stakes are… Continue Reading

The Makings of an Exceptional Law Firm Leader

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring
A few weeks ago I shared some thoughts on the pivotal role leaders play in a post titled, “The Role of Leadership in Law Firm Success or Failure.” In today’s post, in an effort specifically designed to help identify the quality leader, I want to point to what we believe to be clear leadership characteristics.… Continue Reading

Five Leadership Steps for Confronting Law Firm Crisis

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm crisis can surface at any time.  Its roots can be deep within the firm, or can be the outcome of unforeseen developments. However, or whenever it arises, the affected law firm must react promptly and strategically. A tardy reaction, or a misstep in action, can leave a firm in great danger and on… Continue Reading

Five Common Mistakes Law Firms Make When Entering a New Market

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
A dynamic law firm growth tactic involves opening an office in a new geographic market.  To move a firm into virgin territory requires careful thought about issues that go beyond simply hiring new lawyers.  Indeed, expanding a firm’s footprint requires many considerations, including good intelligence about the new market’s practice characteristics, bar personality and mores,… Continue Reading

Improving the Odds with Law Firm Expansion

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
  Virtually every week brings news about law firm expansion.  The news is exciting and of great interest in and out of the legal services industry. Although the firms that report lateral hires, mergers and acquisitions and new office openings are pleased with their news to share, the passage of time proves that not all… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning-Things Small Firms Can Do Just Like the Big Firms

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
Is the grass greener on the other side?  Some small firm leaders envy perceived advantages enjoyed by bigger firms.  Leadership at big firms likewise can be found yearning for simpler times when their firms were smaller and the issues seemed simpler.  Regardless of size, all law firms must work hard to succeed, especially in a… Continue Reading

Scoping Out Future Law Firm Upheaval-Four Places to Look

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs, Uncategorized
Law firms perpetually are in transition. In our changing legal environment, transition can arise when business strategy requires adjustment, merger is considered, layoffs are implemented, lateral hiring is pursued, leadership succession is at hand (see Cultivating the Next Generation), crisis arises or firm wind-up is decided and implemented. In addressing any transitional event and the… Continue Reading

Finding Your Next Law Firm Leader-What to Look for?

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
  The legal services industry is awash with profitability challenges, calls for innovation, and non-traditional entrants.  Long-time law firm clients are expecting more from their law firms at the same time they weigh the option of moving work in-house or assigning it to alternative providers.  Since 2008 flat demand and financial stress have fueled reactive… Continue Reading

The Challenge of Evaluating Law Firm Leaders

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring
Improvement — in any position in any organization — begins with and is dependent on periodic feedback and performance evaluation. Without the objective assessment that comes with these two elements, attention to areas in need of focus is limited. Improvement is left to the realizations that arise from self-reflection. It is a paradox that organizational… Continue Reading

No Law Firm Succession Plan? Five Options

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
A Forbes article entitled Law Firm Leadership Survey:  Top Strategic Initiatives of 2017 shared some interesting information about the burning and not so burning issues for today’s law firm leaders.  The information was assembled through the work of David J. Parnell (the author of the Forbes article) and noted legal consultant Patrick J. McKenna. The… Continue Reading

Four Signs Your Law Firm is Not Ready for Leadership Succession

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
At many law firms that recognize the need for succession planning, preparation for leadership succession receives too little attention. Succession planning can languish for various reasons. In some instances, the press of regular law firm business distracts existing leadership from the issue. In other cases, the topic is an uncomfortable one so discussions are avoided.… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession-A Future Leader’s Job Description

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
The topic of law firm succession is a hot one-discussed daily by commentators and law firm leaders alike. Of course, succession comes in two primary forms; client relationship succession and leadership succession. For many firm leaders, client relationship succession seems to have a heightened priority. But given the changing nature of the legal industry, a… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession – Does Your Firm Care Enough

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession
  Succession planning isn’t for everyone. If your law firm doesn’t have interest in long-term, multi-generational, viability (never mind the whole idea of legacy, which seems increasingly out of vogue) then this post isn’t really for you. It should be acknowledged that a firm doesn’t have to transition from one generation to the next if… Continue Reading

Small Law Firms and Rough Seas-Navigating the Years Ahead

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
As December ends and January dawns, report cards on the legal profession are issued and crystal balls are studied. This year is no different with many articles offering assessments of the industry’s current state and its prospects. Two pieces recently written about the industry’s present and the future are worth review. Mark A. Cohen’s Something’s… Continue Reading

Will 2017 Bring You a Stronger Law Firm?

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring
As we enter the New Year, chances are good you’re dealing with a predictable slate of demands on your time: setting compensation and budgets; managing details associated with the latest departure; and interviewing this week’s lateral prospect. All important activities, and worthy of serious attention; but none of these is likely to make the firm… Continue Reading
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