Law Firm Management

Changing Law Firms for the Worse (Yet Again)

I was speaking to a recent retiree from a Canadian Big Law firm the other day, and she introduced a new law firm concept to me, being that of the “Practice Assistant.” Apparently at her firm they did away with the concept of Legal Assistants (formerly, a “secretary” for you very old folks) and replaced it with a Practice Assistant, or “PA.”

The Practice of Law

Consistently Chaotic

Early in my articles, a senior partner named David asked me to draft a document and gave me a precedent to use. David approved my draft but asked me to show it to Bob, a more junior partner. Bob told me that I had left out an important clause and asked me if David had approved my drafting. When I assured him that David had thought the draft was fine, Bob rolled his eyes and I understood that Bob did not hold David in high regard.

Law Firm Management

Vacation Frustration

A junior Associate at a law firm  called me the other day to complain. There is nothing unusual about that. Associates complain a lot, often with good reason.

Her complaint this time was that she told H.R. that she needed to take a day off for a personal reason and was informed that she had only two choices. She could take the day as vacation or unpaid.

The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

What Does Loyalty Have To Do With It?

“Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down.”

Grace Murray Hopper

I thought that it might be fun to test my skills as a writer, by writing about two things that have virtually nothing to do with each other.  I considered writing about mosquitos and energy drinks, flags and ostriches, or trees and jet skis.  But I wanted to find things that are irreconcilable, regardless of any possible context. After much thought, I hit upon “loyalty” and “law firms.”

Firm Culture

Chasing Unicorns: Changing Law Firm Culture

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  

        Peter Drucker

Back when I was a Managing Partner in a law firm, I did not think  nearly enough about law firm culture. I really should have, but not only because it is the secret to business success. No, I should have thought more about firm culture because it is a crucial factor in whether or not lawyers are happy in their jobs, and as we all know, many of them are not very happy.

Law Firm Management

Is it the Lazy Junior Lawyer’s Fault?

Tali Green recently (sarcastically)asked the following question on LinkedIn: “Are lazy and sub-par juniors contributing to the mental health crisis in the legal profession?”

Client Development

Being Brilliant is Over-Rated

Way back before the cell phone, we had a telephone in our reception area for clients to use. At the same time, my doctor had a sign in his reception area advising patients that the doctor’s phone was for his staff’s use and clients could use a payphone in the lobby. The difference? We lawyers had to market ourselves to find clients and then convince them to pay our bills. My doctor worked under a government health care system and did not have to worry about either of those things.

Law Firm Management

Aren’t Non-Equity Partners Really Just Glorified Associates?

With a nod to the danger of generalizing, I would have to say that as a group, I like non-equity partners (“NEPs”) just as much, if not better, than I like equity partners. They are often people who are primarily interested in practicing law and doing well by their clients, as opposed to promoting themselves and reaching the top of the earnings heap.

On the other hand, I don’t think much of the whole concept of non-equity partnership.


Could Someone Please Pay Me Off Already?

I have been railing against the establishment in the legal profession for going on four years already. You would think that by now I would have annoyed at least a few well-established lawyers with deep pockets.

It seems to me that by this time someone would have offered to pay me at least six figures to abandon my principles, put down my metaphorical pen, and shut up.

Law Students and Young Lawyers

I’ll Tell You What He Didn’t Do

Those of you who read my stuff from time to time know that when I retired, I moved to the country, bought a pick-up truck, and started listening to country music. One song I like is by Carly Pearce, and it has the following lyrics: