Posted by: johnocunningham | May 5, 2014

Best Blogs of April: Law Firm Leadership and Management

This is my 18th post in a series of monthly features that I have dubbed “Best of My Blog Roll.” The concept is simple – at the end of a month I often peruse my own blog roll (see that column on the right) for material created by other bloggers that I think is most worthy of sharing with others, and then I report on it here.

For the month of April 2014, I have chosen to highlight two blog posts on the subject of law firm leadership and management.

The first post is about the leading indicators of success at law firms, and was published by Adam Smith, Esq. This post explains why shared vision (what I would call a “mission”) is so important, as well as building a C-Suite of completely empowered non-lawyer support professionals (for large law firms). It reminds me a bit of what I discovered in my own journey to find the keys to success at AmLaw 200 firms, which resulted in the publication of “The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Law Firms.”

The second post, entitled “What’s Next for Law Firm Leaders,” features an interview with Lee Pacchia from the “Business of Law” Web TV program, as well as some challenging analysis from Tim Corcoran of the “Business of Law” blog. Among the topics on which Corcoran opines are the relationship of behavior and compensation, one of the reasons that some law firms fear investment spending, and the prevalent law firm strategy of management by consensus or committee.

I also liked one other post a lot that deserves mention. It is found on LawVision INSIGHTS, and deals with the common and very valid refrain from some law firm partners that they are hesitant about business development when they are already handling maximum capacity. This post, however, does not mention what I feel is the most obvious business solution to this problem – the solution employed by business enterprises globally.

When businesses are functioning to capacity and they have the ability to generate new orders, they don’t shut down or stop taking orders. Instead, they invest in additional plant capacity, or more frequently and effectively, they use technology and process improvement to increase capacity by reducing the labor hours per project. This allows a business to operate to higher capacity without adding headcount or spending capital on larger workspace.

Furthermore, if you can figure out how to do more with less (as companies do every day) then you can charge more per hour and still offer the client savings on a per project basis. Everyone is a winner when you figure out how to be more productive, and that is why productivity is related to business/client development.

Every sophisticated business in the world must use process improvement and technology to serve their customers better, or they don’t survive. That same competitive atmosphere is now descending on law firms.

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