Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Category Archives: Law Firm Leadership

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Merging Your Small Law Firm into a Bigger One-Five Additional Things Smart Firms Think About

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers happen-a lot.  While the mega mergers get the publicity, many mergers stay under the radar because they involve smaller firms being absorbed by larger firms. Whether for reasons of market dynamics, succession, or battling for growth, some smaller firms simply conclude that life will be better as part of a bigger shop. A… Continue Reading

Avoiding Post Law Firm Merger Culture Wars-Six Things to Consider Before Getting Married

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers have been in the news with combinations being announced seemingly every week.  So far in 2018, the many mergers closed have drawn the attention of the media and law firm leaders alike.  The rationale for any of the announced mergers depends on the specific transaction and the firms involved.  Whatever the reason,… Continue Reading

What Does Partner Mean in Your Law Firm?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
If you change partners every time it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then I don’t think you get the richness that’s available in a long-term relationship.                   Jeff Bridges Another year and more turmoil in the legal profession! Although for some law firms the… Continue Reading

Getting a Bigger Piece of the Client Pie-Positioning Your Firm for More than a Sliver

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition
To control costs and improve legal service, more client legal work has been brought in-house in recent years.  As clients have achieved those twin goals, the proximity of readily available legal services to business decision makers has spawned greater institutional reliance on the captive legal departments.  The increased access to legal services for company business… Continue Reading

Succession Planning as Financial Planning: Five Critical Components

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Succession planning is an important issue for many law firms, especially as the Boomers and Generation Xers age and the human resource pyramid becomes an irregular shaped box.  When you add in the assault on the industry from client competition, alternative service providers, and artificial intelligence, the necessity of doing succession right is more critical… Continue Reading

Is it Time? Five Developments That Demand Action from Law Firm Leaders

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
Running a law firm successfully is no easy task.  It is a multi-dimensional effort that requires leadership, discipline, vision, and some luck.  Getting all firm lawyers to row a boat in unison can be tough.  Even if some of the oars irregularly go into the water, progress is still possible. When attentive leaders work hard… Continue Reading

Rethinking Law Firm Succession-Five Reasons to Focus Differently

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Law firm succession is a top of mind issue for today’s law firms.  Making sure one generation of leadership can hand the reins off to the next generation is a key concern.  Of course, it is not just having the right people in place to develop and execute sound strategies, but it also requires transitioning… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-A Way to Solve the Succession Dilemma

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
For many law firms, succession to the next generation presents a formidable and daunting challenge.  Leadership may have been too busy to plan ahead for succession.  Turnover at the firm may have dealt a blow to the goal of grooming someone to step in as the next leader.  Sometimes the next generation’s business development abilities… Continue Reading

Achieving Stability and Longevity for Your Law Firm-Five Fundamentals

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Almost daily, lawyers come together and open new law firms.  High expectations accompany such births.  With owners committing to work hard, promising to exercise given and acquired skills, and counting on a little (but not too much) luck, the newly created institution teases with the prospect of success. The positive vibes at inception may be… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Checklist Item-Culture

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
The spring of 2018 has produced a spate of large law firm mergers.  Despite this noticeable activity, the interest in mergers is not something new-over 600 mergers and acquisitions have closed since 2007.  Based on the tactic’s popularity among firm leaders seeking a competitive edge, we can expect more mergers in the future. For law… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession: Addressing the Most Important Issue

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
After years of success (by any number of measures), more than a few firm founders (or later generation leaders) confront succession.  Some of them are simply ready to step back and enjoy life-turning their worries over to the next generation has great appeal.  Others are driven by unanticipated developments-illness or family circumstances compel them to… Continue Reading

Five Key Metrics for Grading Your Law Firm’s Annual Performance

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
A law firm report card is a good thing.  Much like a child’s school report card telling a parent how school is going, a law firm report card can inform firm leadership about its progress, shortfalls, and areas that need improvement.  In these days of industry disruption and heightened competition, periodic assessments can give a… Continue Reading

When a Law Firm Grows Up-Five Steps to Maturing Well

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
Sometimes it is as simple as two lawyers acting on obvious synergies and a law firm is born.  Once the firm is birthed, the days are heady ones as basic startup chores are mixed with the never-ending pursuit of clients, doing good work and building an enduring reputation.  Coming up for air can almost seem… Continue Reading

Its Merger Season-Five Reasons for Your Law Firm to Think About Merger

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Tis the season, but holidays are not involved.  Rather, market forces, activity and trends confirm that law firm merger is on the minds of law firms.  While mergers once seemed to happen mostly around the start of the year, the complexity of the merger exercise means mergers can happen at any time.  And even for… Continue Reading

Getting Ahead of the Game-Four Thoughts About Operating Successfully in Today’s Market

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
  Every year about this time some of the major research and analytic minds focused on the legal services industry publish their annual reports or studies.  Citi Private Bank/Hildebrandt Consulting LLC’s Client Advisory was released on December 14, 2017 and contains a wealth of information and perspectives about what happened in 2017 and what might… Continue Reading

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

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

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
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