Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Category Archives: Law Firm Transition

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Failing Strategies and Law Firm Success

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
I recently finished a review of the 2018 version of the Georgetown University Law Center’s Report on the State of the Legal Market. Although the report contains numerous quantitative facts reflecting continued struggles for the law firm services market (falling productivity, realization and profit margins), I was intrigued by the commentary regarding strategy. The report… Continue Reading

Five Steps for Preparing Your Law Firm for a Great Future

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Predicting the future of the legal services industry is no easy task.  The complexity of its landscape makes divining next year, let alone the coming years, difficult.  Prophesying about the future, however, is not simply an academic exercise.  It has practical importance because firms must develop sound strategies that can help assure future success.  For… Continue Reading

Four Steps for Driving Non-Equity Partner Performance Towards Equity Partner Expectations

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Firms often find themselves with too many non-equity partners whose performance could and should be better.  But because of a long string of promotion decisions and/or lax management, the non-equity partner pool is bigger than desired and its overall contribution to the firm is, in a word, disappointing.  Indeed, many equity partners see this middle… Continue Reading

6 Keys To A Healthy Law Firm – Food For Thought

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
For years, we’ve known two things about personal health: ‘We are what we eat’ and ‘We need to move more.’ Specific admonitions and instructions change, but the theme is consistent. The human body needs a balance of nutrient rich foods with a compliment of vitamins and minerals. And there are the things to avoid —… Continue Reading

Five Steps for Law Firms Wanting a Good 2018

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
For law firm leaders closing in on the end of 2017, there is no rest for the weary.  They are working hard to finish the year off well.  Collecting bills, distributing profits, retaining talent are just a few of the things on their to-do lists. Even if 2017 turns out positively, it is no guaranty… Continue Reading

Underperforming Law Firms Risk Failure

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year. — John Foster Dulles Former Secretary of State    We’ve Got Trouble…With A Capital “T” Most law firms go through a similar cycle. Initially partners share an almost blind… Continue Reading

Five Reasons for Law Firms to Think About a Merger in 2018

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
There is much to do when a law firm closes out its year.  Getting bills out, collecting receivables, paying bonuses, and distributing profits are but a few of the things that get the attention of leadership.  As long as the firm’s year has moved along normally, finishing up strong often is the main focus of… Continue Reading

What Makes A Great Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.― Jim Collins During a re-read of the Jim Collins classic “Good To Great”, I was struck by the profound difference discipline in decision making could have on law firms. One of the glaring areas where… Continue Reading

Five Steps to Making Your Law Firm More Dynamic

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
The legal services market is as competitive as ever-ask any law firm leader.  More clients are bringing work in-house or turning to alternative providers.  Law firms know that and fight fiercely over what is left.  Lawyers thinking about starting their own firm see the robust competition as well.  Whether established or just getting started, law… Continue Reading

It’s November – Create A Stronger Law Firm in 2018

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Most firms are in the final stretch for this year, wrestling with collections, budgets, promotions and compensation decisions. All of these are important activities. But, while focused on wrapping up 2017 let me suggest one more subject that deserves attention — something that stands a chance of making a real long-term difference. I suggest that… Continue Reading

Five Exercises for Toning Up a Law Firm’s Large Middle Section

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
  Law firms look around and see that the attorney pyramid structure is crumbling or gone.  In its place is an indistinct shape that often includes an oversized group of experienced lawyers not worthy, at least yet, of ownership.  Depending on the firm, the contribution of these lawyers can vary.  Some firms enjoy great financial… Continue Reading

Four Key Components to Law Firm Financial Health-Meeting the Universal Objective

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firms come in all shapes and sizes.  Some consciously specialize in distinct areas of the law while others are more reactionary-willing to do anything they feel generally competent to do.  Firms can be local in scope, only serving a home town populace from its home town address.  Geographically expansive law firms can have a… Continue Reading

Law Firm Innovation: A Concept Within Every Law Firm’s Grasp

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm innovation.  The idea of innovation is lauded, discussed and encouraged.  When it happens, either through technological advances, the launch of a start-up alternative service provider, or the unveiling of an approach never thought about before, the legal services industry takes note.  In an industry searching for a new stability after 10 years of… Continue Reading

Relieving Pressure in the Law Firm Restructure/Turnaround

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. – Peter Drucker We have previously written  about the unique nature of the law firm turnaround and how commitment from owners is one of the keys to turnaround success. In Part 2 we will look at resource management (or cost management) as a… Continue Reading

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

Denial and Law Firm Demise

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
“Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it.”  – Margaret Weis Most business people are familiar with Built to Last and Good to Great, both terrific books by Jim Collins. He published a less known book, How The… 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

How to Thrive with Clients that Don’t Use Law Firms Like They Used To?

Posted in Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
Despite today’s times being better for many law firms, the positive trends do not signal a return to the gilded pre-2008 days; unfortunately, those days are gone for good.  Law firms are fighting for market share in 2017 in an arena vastly more competitive than the one that existed a short decade ago. Competition is… 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

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
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