Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: law firm strategy

Five Signs Your Law Firm Needs New Energy

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
Law firms that lack energy dim their prospects for the future.  Too often law firms pass over the issue of their own vibrancy (whether by a failure of recognition or simple indifference) and plod along without taking corrective action.  A becalmed law firm, especially in these times of legal industry disruption, is flirting with danger.… 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

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 Firms in the Year Ahead-Is a Good 2017 That Much of a Good Thing?

Posted in Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
 Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Thompson Reuters released their annual report on the state of the legal market last week and it is, as always, informative. The 2017 Peer Monitor Report is chock full of data and analysis respecting the tendencies in the legal market. While one might conclude… 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

Improving Your Law Firm’s Growth Prospects-The Importance of Discipline

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
  For many law firms client expectations, increased competition (from traditional and non-traditional sources) and unreliable demand present formidable challenges. These challenges can be compounded as a firm’s senior lawyers age and succession gets added to a firm’s “to do” list. Some firms have responded to these issues by growing through lateral hiring or merger… Continue Reading

Avoiding the Unplanned Law Firm Closure-Five Steps Every Law Firm Should Take

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
As the calendar year comes to a close, there is a lot to do at most law firms. Activities like collecting bills, distributing profits and casting next year’s budget can occupy many a leadership team. The tasks at hand can be time consuming and all engrossing. Given the importance of these short-term issues, thinking about… Continue Reading

Preparing Your Law Firm to Compete in a Changing World

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
As staid and conservative lawyers and their profession may seem, it is undeniable that change is a part of their world. The change that has confronted the legal profession since the collapse of 2008 has garnered a lot of press, but lawyers and their firms have had to adjust to an altering world for a… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Today-Aligning the Cultures

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
Merger is a frequent law firm activity, especially in recent years. Based on a recent review of Altman Weil’s MergerLine, over 600 mergers and acquisitions have closed since 2007. While not all the deals identified by MergerLine have been true mergers, many of the “non-mergers” nonetheless have been significant because they represent the near full… Continue Reading

Law Firms Today-The Downside to an Unearned Raising of Rates

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Over the last two weeks some attention has been given to the topic of law firms raising rates. Bill Josten recently wrote about information coming from Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute and Peer Monitor that suggests that raising rates may undermine firms’ goals of greater profitability. A similar report followed, also drawing on Thomson Reuters’… Continue Reading

Law Firms Today-Preparing for an Uncertain Future

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Forbes’ article Cab Companies and Law Firms Are Taking the Same Route presents the provocative view that law firms face disruptive innovation similar to the kind experienced over the last eight years by cab companies. Ride sharing innovation through the likes of Uber, Lyft and others has undermined the once financially formidable cab business. The… Continue Reading

Preparing Your Law Firm for the Future-Don’t Confuse Tactics with Strategy

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition
Superficial solutions to the long-term challenges law firms face are seldom lasting. The right answers only come through disciplined strategic thinking that projects beyond a looming horizon. Unfortunately, some thinking in the guise of being strategic is anything but. And for the law firms trying to position themselves past that horizon, misinterpreting motion for progress… Continue Reading

Law Firm Lateral Hiring: Preparing for the Upcoming Free Agent Season

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition
As law firms prepare for the last half of 2016, the ingredients for the lateral hiring stew are being added. Firm and individual lawyer performance on the year, bonus expectations and realization, internal law firm management and politics-all will be factors in determining individual lawyer contentment. The same factors, viewed from management’s perspective, will drive… Continue Reading

Managing Excess Law Firm Growth-Spinning Off the Struggling Office

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm growth is a popular strategy or tactic among law firms seeking to compete in today’s ultra competitive legal services market.  Growth often is achieved through mergers, practice group acquisitions and lateral hiring.  And in some cases, the growth initiatives result in new offices being opened in markets previously not served.  New offices create… Continue Reading

Addressing Your Law Firm’s Declining Demand Through Change-Five Considerations

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Although pockets of law firms are enjoying increased demand, revenues and profitability, the general news about the industry as a whole is tepid. A recent article by Chris Mondics about law firm financial performance cites a common problem these days of law firms lacking enough work to keep their lawyers busy. The article (drawing on… Continue Reading

Practicality and Law Firm Strategy

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring
I was very encouraged by a recent Bloomberg article regarding Katten Muchin Rosenman. The piece describes the strategic priorities of Roger Furey, the newly-named chair of the firm. The three top priorities are: Getting the word out regarding the firm’s reputation. Reportedly, the firm has an excellent reputation with existing clients and the goal is to… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-Four Rules to Follow

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Mergers between law firms garner headlines. Just last week, Kansas City’s Husch Blackwell was in the news when it announced that it was merging with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., a Wisconsin based business and litigation firm. The merger comes less than year after Husch Blackwell’s Chairman Maurice Watson described the firm’s newly adopted strategy of… Continue Reading

Boomer Law Firms: Some Demographic Challenges

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Ward Bower’s Existential Threats to Law Firms provides an excellent review about a few of the economic and demographic issues that threaten today’s law firms. As Mr. Bower notes, some of the law firms previously fixtures in league tables and in the AmLaw 200 have either failed, been acquired or otherwise have disappeared from view-all… Continue Reading
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