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Law Firm Management

Try Being Right Once in a While

The other day my wife purported to correct something I said. I asked her how I could get her to stop doing that. She replied, “You could try being right once in a while.”

I just told my girlfriend, “I have written the first paragraph of my latest post, but I have nothing of value to say.”  She replied, “That never stopped you before.”

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Law Firm Management

Finders v. Grinders

Let’s cut to the chase:  Law firms compensate lawyers for two things: (i) fees billed for their own work; and (ii) fees billed for work that they introduce to the firm which is done by someone else. (In theory there are some other things that matter also, but in practice you cannot get rich by doing any of them.)  

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Law Firm Management

Lawyers are Fools When it Comes to Hiring People

You would think that in a profession where people are the most valuable asset, employers would develop some expertise around human resources.  And yet, most lawyers know squat about it. That is not surprising. Most H.R. professionals do not know much about practicing law.

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Law Firm Management

Kentucky Fried Lawyers, Anyone?

The magic of a franchise system is that someone brilliant develops a business system and then documents every step that must be taken to permit someone less capable to follow the system and replicate the results. So, wherever you go in North America, someone much less accomplished than Colonel Sanders can sell you a bucket of chicken that is just as tasty and unhealthy as the original.

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Law Firm Management

Do Lawyers Suck at Business?

I am of the opinion that, generally speaking, lawyers are not particularly good businesspeople. I attribute this to the following:  

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Law Firm Management

Empowering Law Clerks

During my career, I was fortunate to work with three phenomenal law clerks. I trained two of them. The third was trained on Bay Street. Each of them was exceptional because they were intelligent, capable, motivated, well-trained, and empowered.

Rarely accused of being overly immodest, I will take credit for empowering them.

How good were they?

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Law Firm Management

Lawyers Know Everything

Since lawyers tend to think that they know a great deal more than they do about just about everything, they often choose to do things themselves rather than pay money to experts to do them.

One of the things that lawyers typically do poorly is performance reviews.

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Law Firm Management

Is My Wife Right (Yet Again)?

In the first draft of this post, I set out as a fact that I had a question which would stump 95% of all lawyers. My wife read the draft and said that I was wrong. There is nothing unusual about that. I am wrong plenty and she is quick to notice when I am.

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Law Firm Management

We are Too Small to Spend Money on That

I have been known to be critical of large law firms. Not today. Say what you will about Big Law, at least large law firms are smart enough to hire professionals to manage their businesses. For that reason, I am going to leave them out of today’s rant.

Instead, let me turn my wrath on small and medium sized legal practices. You know, the ones typically headed by a few brilliant legal minds who are way too intelligent to need help from people with real business expertise.

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Law Firm Management

Murray’s Handy Dandy Guide to Becoming a Partner

I once had a partner who was a “heads down, get your work done” type of guy. Knew his law. Billed like a fiend. Not much of a people person. Let’s call him Ken.