Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: law firm management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

Law Firm Departures 2016/2017: A Likely Source of Disputes

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
(As many law firms see their fiscal year close simultaneously with the calendar year-end, the risk of partner departures rise.  The lessons identified in the March 2015 blog Law Firm Departures: A Likely Source of Disputes have not lost their relevance as 2016 closes and 2017 begins.  That blog is reprinted here in its entirely) Most law firms… 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

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 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
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