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Law Firm Management

People I Met Practicing Law Episode One: Tough Love

They say that the Americans are tougher than we are when it comes to business.  I think that it is probably true. 

I met John in the early 90’s, shortly after he had arrived in Toronto to set up a Canadian branch of his large Buffalo law firm.  John was a very senior lawyer by then and he was the managing partner of the Toronto branch office of his firm, and in charge of the firm’s cross-border practice. 

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Firm Culture

Of Sisyphus and Speakerphones

When I started out in the legal profession many years ago, becoming a Partner at a law firm was the dream of every new lawyer.  At the firm where I articled in 1979, each new Partner received two gifts from the firm upon being admitted to partnership.  The first was a gold sculpture of Sisyphus, pushing the boulder up the hill.  The second was a speakerphone, which at the time was new and exciting technology. 

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The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers Uncategorized

Scrambling for the Largest Piece of Pie

Law firms being partnerships, someone must decide how to split the pie at the end of the year, and except in some small firms, the pie is rarely split evenly. The task of deciding how large a slice of the profits should be given to each partner in medium and large firms usually falls to the compensation committee. One might think that the compensation committee would consist of human resources professionals with specialized knowledge in evaluating job performance, and perhaps that is the case in some firms, but in many firms the primary qualification for membership on the compensation committee is a large client base and big billings.