Law Firm Management

You are Old. We are Greedy. Get the Hell Out!

Since professional firms are usually partnerships, the well-compensated people at the top of the pyramid are partners, not employees. As a result, all of that stuff that protects employees from discrimination on the basis of age in the Human Rights Code does not apply to them, at least where I live in Ontario, Canada.

With that over-simplified but pithy summary of the law, I have explained how partners in accounting firms and law firms can be squeezed out in their early sixties.

Legal Fees

Silent Stupidity

“Fools believe silence is a void needing to be filled; the wise understand there’s no such thing as silence.”

Michael J. Sullivan, Age of Myth

Client: Why do I want to pay for two lawyers to be in this meeting?

The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Too Nice For This World

Before you read this story, I should let you know that this is a sad story which does not end well.

Long ago I had a great professional relationship and friendship with Laurence.  I liked Laurence a lot.  He was honest and ethical. He cared about his clients, his family, and his relationships. He taught me valuable lessons about dealing with clients and co-workers.

Legal Tech

Musings of a Medium-Tech Lawyer about Cruise ships, Technology, and Mental Health

Client Development

Bah, Humble

I spoke to a young lawyer the other day who hails from another country. I will call her Natalie.  Natalie explained to me that where she comes from, the culture is such that self-promotion is frowned upon.  In her country, people do not think much of braggarts and blowhards. They respect people who are humble.


To Thine Own Self Be True

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” 

Hamlet – William Shakespeare.

I drove into the Big City the other day and had brunch with an old friend who I will call Sandy, because that is her name.

Law Students and Young Lawyers

What Danger Lurks in the Shadow of Brilliance?

Now that I have been retired for a few years, I sometimes wonder whether my experience as to how law firms work remains valid. Also, since I spent my days with medium-sized firms and not in Big Law, I occasionally worry that my view of what goes on in Big Law is not correct.

But then I speak to lawyers working in Big Law and they invariably confirm that Big Law is exactly what I always thought it was (which is just Medium Law on steroids, with worse side effects), and nothing has changed, and likely never will.

Law Students and Young Lawyers

A Good Day at the Office

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” 

Yogi Berra.

I was speaking to an unhappy lawyer the other day, which is typically the only type of lawyer that calls me.

This particular fellow has been practicing law quite a long time and makes decent money. His unhappiness stems from his insecurity, that so many of us share, about whether the clients will continue to come, and the fact that his work is too easy. He needs to develop his reputation so that he is in demand. He must also attract some more complicated stuff to sink his teeth into so that he is intellectually challenged and feels that he is doing something valuable for his clients.

Legal Tech

Enough Chatter About Chat GPT: Time to Move on Up

So, so much chatter about Chat GPT. I believe some of it. I think that some of it is nonsense.

Here is the bottom line:

  1. Lawyers did not go out of business when computers were invented and we lost all of those hours reviewing draft after draft of retyped documents.
  2. We were still able to generate enough billable hours, even after we became able to produce documents faster with document automation software.
  3. Online legal databases did not replace articling students and junior associates.
Client Development

Buying Clients

Back when I was practicing law, ignoring my health, and always exhausted, there were oh so many things to think about.  One of them was referral fees.

Of course the Law Society has rules about referral fees, as they should. (There are a whole bunch of other things that they have rules about which they should not be involved in, but I will save my rant about that for another day.)

In our firm, we kept our rules about referral fees a whole lot simpler than the Law Society rules. We did not pay referral fees and we did not accept referral fees.