Great Reputation -- No Business: how to jumpstart laterals lacking BD experience

Posted on July 6, 2021 by J. David Harvey

The lateral market continues to be red hot. Widespread acceptance of remote working has opened up new possibilities for those candidates who are not physically in the major markets. “We have not seen this level of lateral move activity in many years,” said David Ris, a recruiter at the McCormick Group. “Further, the pace of government lawyers moving to private practice is well above what we typically see following a change in administration.” Yet the hiring process is still fraught with danger, with red flags lurking behind the scenes; often not caught before the new partner joins the firm. As I wrote this time last year, the chance that your new partner will be with the firm in two years from the starting time is a coin flip — 50/50.

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Effective Leadership in 2021 and Beyond 

Posted on June 29, 2021 by Silvia Coulter

There is nothing more rewarding for business leaders than helping a business or a team reach its goals, and to inspire others to succeed. Reaching this milestone relies solely on the people in the organization and on the organization’s leadership. In our work with law firms, conversations often turn to that of leadership. Mentions include leaders with no vision, leaders who micro-manage, or leaders who are downright dysfunctional, and of course great leaders—those who inspire others, set organizational goals, communicate across the organization, and build trust. Leaders in law firms are many. Practice and department heads, office heads, committee chairs, and of course the top leaders, the managing partner(s). How is your firm training its leaders to be strong and supportive?


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Practice Group Success Part 3: Develop the Right Goals 

Posted on June 15, 2021 by Susan Lambreth

Can your practice group have a direction without goals? Not likely. But not all goals are created equal and good performance requires that we start out with clear direction. This means SMART goals. The problem is that it's not easy to get a group of lawyers to develop and agree to SMART goals. Yet, without them, however, most practice groups don't accomplish a lot.  

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On the Road to ALSP: Getting the Dynamics Right (Part 2 of 3) 

Posted on June 7, 2021 by Carla Landry

Chances are ALSPs aren’t going to knock out law firms. By the same token, law firms aren’t going to outlast ALSPs either. But although the full promises of the digital age have yet to be realized, changes are underway. Should you consider a peaceful, even collaborative, co-existence where every entity finds its rightful place on the value chain? Just because ALSPs didn’t make the traditional law firm model obsolete (yet), doesn’t mean that the news of industry upheaval has been greatly exaggerated. Make no mistake: ALSPs are an important part of the law sector ecosystem and a valuable contributor for the foreseeable future.

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Apathy at Work? In Two Minutes, Get Your Team to Care Again (Tip#1) 

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Yvonne Nath

Admit it. After over a year of being kept in a holding pattern due to the pandemic – with restrictions on travel, a limited menu of activity options, unknowns about health, job insecurity, and difficulty knowing where to focus our energy at any given time (and this list goes on) – some are finding it challenging to feel engaged with their work today.  This week we begin publishing a series of tips from LawVision consultant Yvonne Nath about how to overcome post-pandemic apathy and get yourself in the right frame of mind as we emerge from lockdown.

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Shaping the Future of Legal Resource Management: The Five-Phase Approach to Effective Organizational Change 

Posted on May 13, 2021 by Joseph Lamport

Matter staffing and resource management go to the heart of law firm operations.  When you change long-established procedures for staffing, you end up impacting the creation of all legal work product as well as the day to day lives of every attorney. As a result, staff resource management provides you with a good insight into the optimal way to introduce and manage major changes in a law firm environment, without triggering unwanted disruption.

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So, What's the Big Deal about Big Data? 

Posted on May 11, 2021 by Susan Lambreth

A discussion with Amanda Chaboryk, the Disputes and LItigaiton Data Lead at Norton Rose Fulbright, about the uses of big data and analytics in litigation today. 

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The Science Emerging Behind Effective Team Collaboration 

Posted on April 27, 2021 by J. David Harvey

In the Am Law 200 law firm world, client teams are one of the drivers for retaining and expanding existing client work. This article by LawVision's Dave Harvey discusses some of the research-based findings that are now putting some science and further definition around the art of collaboration. 

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Your Clients Are Not Stupid; Stop Rate-Hiking as if You Think They Are 

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Yvonne Nath

Law firms: the time is now. Not tomorrow. Right now, you still have a chance to become the central manager of service providers. But soon, if you do not take this opportunity, your clients will bypass your firm and work directly with other service providers, including other law firms that already collaborate with ALSPs.

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Culture as a Competitive Advantage 

Posted on April 13, 2021 by Silvia Coulter

A strong, powerful and constructive culture has a significant impact on a business’s ability to differentiate, to offer top-shelf client service, to attract and retain talent at all levels of the organization, and to reach new levels of profitability. Regardless of how technology continues to help the legal industry reinvent itself from a mature industry to an updated and thriving industry, culture and people will remain a key driver of any firm’s long-term success. As a strategic imperative, creating a constructive culture of success takes much more than words on a strategic plan, or words at a retreat with then no future actions. The very fabric of firms’ cultures is being frayed through the disruptive and changing climate. The leaders who effectively manage change and underscore those values and beliefs that drive culture will find their firms still standing long after many others have failed.

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Practice Group Success: Don't Just Plan, Implement (Part 2) 

Posted on April 6, 2021 by Susan Lambreth

To implement your practice group vision, you need a good plan. In Part 1 of this three-part series, we proposed an approach to help practice groups implement sound practice plans. The components included management feedback, partner participation, and a rigorous market assessment. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here. In Part 2, we’ll cover two more requirements for the successful implementation of a practice plan. They include:

  • Develop a true business plan, not just a marketing plan.
  • Make your goals SMART.

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Before You Go ALSP, Assess What's Broken 

Posted on March 30, 2021 by Carla Landry

ALSPs gained a foothold in the legal industry by doing processes better, faster, and cheaper than the long-established routines adopted by law firms and their clients.  That doesn’t mean, however, that your law firm should completely abdicate total responsibility just because you've decided to improve your delivery of legal services by working with an ASLP. Although you don’t have to, in general, you’ll want to assess your processes before you outsource. In this new series of blogposts, Carla Landry of LawVision explains why. 

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Practice Group Success: Don't Just Plan, Implement (Part 1) 

Posted on March 23, 2021 by Susan Lambreth

Most practice groups have a plan, if for no other reason than that they are used to budget scarce resources – marketing dollars or staff time, professional development expenses, lateral hire compensation, recruiters’ fees, etc. The problem is that practice group plans, too frequently, simply are not executed. In fact, a mediocre plan implemented is arguably better than the best plan gathering dust on a credenza or on your intranet.

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The Practice Group Leader's Role in Sales Management 

Posted on March 15, 2021 by Silvia Coulter

The role of practice group leaders is changing. More than ever, retention and growth of existing clients and new business development are vital to any firm’s stability and growth. As firms place more business development demands on partners and senior associates, it is crucial to provide the support they need to track and strategize about new pursuit opportunities and focus on closing new engagements. Creating that support structure shows that the firm values and supports their lawyers’ business development efforts and helps create a pathway to success.


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The Business of Law 

Posted on March 1, 2021 by Yvonne Nath

When you start to look more closely at the business of legal services, you soon realize that the legal function often handles work that is not legal. The logical question to ask is: who is best positioned to tackle this work? The Big Four will approach issues from a business perspective and can advise law departments whether they should send their work to law firms or otherwise. Law firms are beginning to offer these high-value business advisory services, as well. I would encourage you, if you are a law firm, to give some thought to this. You can let the Big Four advise your clients how to right-size work, or you can strengthen your relationships with your clients by proactively approaching them with ideas for how they can right-size their work (but you cannot do this unless you understand the ecosystem of ALSPs and other service providers that are available to assist you and your clients).

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Effective Resource Management and EDI Initiatives Achieved with BigHand Resource Management 

Posted on February 25, 2021 by Joseph Lamport

Resource Management is a promising new software solution that BigHand is rolling out across the US, which has the potential to transform the way large law firms manage their most important resource - their legal talent. Resource Management provides a means to improve law firm operations in a fundamental way, by establishing a firm-wide process for the management of human resources and the allocation of work assignments more efficiently and equitably.   


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The Evolution of the Law Firm Client Team 

Posted on February 23, 2021 by J. David Harvey

Remember when "client team" referred to just the attorney's billing to a particular client? With flat demand for legal services now and for the foreseeable future, law firms are in a race to increase market share with their existing clients. The most innovative firms have stepped up their game. They have sophisticated teams that utilize professional staff to goose client service, identify cross-serving opportunities, and transform the relationship into a true business partnership — all while making the relationship partner look good in the process.

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Pricing 2.0 - Beyond the Billable Hour 

Posted on February 16, 2021 by Mark Medice


I am enjoying the discussion going on these days about hourly billing. Rachel Barnett of Brooks Brothers recently outlined a well-articulated view of the negatives of the billable hour. Colin Jasper then turned the topic upside down by pointing out some of its client virtues. Colin went on to make the point that nearly every major law firm is open to creative fees, concluding that the power to change rests in the client’s hands. He headlines his discussion with the proclamation that the billable hour has ended – “long live the billable hour.” 



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Who Makes the Best Practice Group Leaders? 

Posted on February 2, 2021 by Susan Lambreth

In medium to large firms, it is typical to have 10 or more practice group leaders. Yet, in many firms, leadership may feel that there are not enough capable partners who are willing to perform the role effectively. Does your firm have the people you need?

To fill your firm’s leadership positions and to enhance your leadership pool for the future, it’s important to first determine the skills and characteristics needed to be effective as a practice group leader.

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Lawyers and Decisions: So Many Choices, So Little Time 

Posted on January 20, 2021 by Carla Landry

Decision fatigue. It actually is a thing. It has been a subject of articles and studies for decades.  An article in New York Times Magazine focused on it nearly 10 years ago.  And in case you are ever incarcerated, your chances of getting the parole board to set you free are much greater at 8:50 am than at 4:25 pm because of that fatigue. So for whatever reason you might need this information, keep it in mind.

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A New (and Unexpected) Tool for Improving Diversity and Inclusion -- Legal Project Management 

Posted on January 6, 2021 by Susan Raridon Lambreth and Dr. Maria-Vittoria Carminati

Legal project management (LPM) can enhance client relationships, increase law firm profitability, provide transparency into law department budgeting, and boost matter team morale. But that’s not all. LPM also has the potential to be a powerful tool for improving diversity and inclusion.

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TO ALSP or Not. It's Just Part of the Question 

Posted on December 14, 2020 by Carla Landry

In this article, LawVIsion senior consultant Carla Landry considers the moose on the table:  should your law firm consider working with an ALSP?  Above all, she advises, the choice should be a strategic one.   Be wary of any shoot-from-the-hip advice that you really should outsource some element of your business. You must examine holistically your work processes. But before you do anything at all, follow a systematic approach to figure out the best course of action.

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Optimizing Practice Group Leader Performance (Part 2) 

Posted on November 30, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

In the corporate world, managers and leaders receive dozens of hours of training each year to prepare them for their roles and responsibilities. In law firms, too many in management positions receive either no formal training or training that is infrequent or insufficient and perhaps both. Ongoing leadership development is a critical part of grooming your firm's practice group leaders for success.

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Law Firm Leadership for Business Professionals 

Posted on November 24, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

Many business professionals seek the role of leader. As we know, there are many more not-so-good leaders than there are good leaders. What makes the difference? Think about the leaders in your life. Which characteristics defined a good leader, and which characteristics defined a bad leader? Looking back on all or part of one’s career and the leaders experienced along the way will hopefully help you to become a stronger leader. This blogpost from Silvia Coulter of LawVision provides a cheatsheet with some essential pointers.

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Using the Power of Personality to Drive Law Firm Change (part 2) 

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Carla Landry

Do lawyers have the characteristics to support change? Conventional wisdom tells us they may resist movement away from the status quo. But, then, change is a challenge for most people. Calra Landry of LawVision explores ways you can position your change initiatives to minimize the friction and resistance you're likely to encounter from lawyers in the firm.

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How Can Managing Partners Optimize Practice Group Leader Performance? 

Posted on November 11, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

Are you leading your practice group effectively?”.

Practice group and department leaders play increasingly important roles in the management of the most successful law firms. They are expected to perform at very high levels in order to meet the demands of their role and to help their groups achieve the desired goals set by firm management. For managing partners and others in firm leadership, the challenge is how to maximize the potential of the group by providing the necessary guidance, support, tools and other resources that will position them for success.  Susan Lambreth of LawVision provides some practical advice.

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What the Survey Says 

Posted on November 10, 2020 by Joseph Lamport

What I enjoy most about good content marketing is that it reverses our expectations about where we are likely to find the most interesting and substantive content in the latest issue of a newspaper or newsletter.  There’s a good likelihood that a good marketer’s message will truly turn out to be the most attention-worthy piece of news these days.

That certainly is the case with the Legal Pricing and Profitably Survey 2020 produced by BigHand in cooperation with its partners True Value Partnering Institute and The Australasian Legal Practice Management Association.  It is very much attention worthy for anyone interested into digging into revealing data about the state of today’s legal market.

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Reassessing Law Firm Operations Leadership for a Post-Pandemic World 

Posted on October 27, 2020 by Simmons I. Patrick, Jr.

In preparation for the new post-Coronavirus world, law firm leaders should not overlook the need to reassess whether or not the firm’s functional and operational leaders have the right competencies and capabilities for their roles going forward.

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Empowering Lawyer Personalities for Successful Legal Process Improvement 

Posted on October 26, 2020 by Carla Landry

People crave normalcy right now. Yet, here you come with a new initiative. But despite everything, this may be the perfect opportunity for your firm to take a different approach. This week's blogspot from Carla Landry of LawVision provides some helpful insights about how, with better insight into lawyers' personality traits, you can motivate them to accept rather than resist your change initiatives. 

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Collaboration Reimagined: New Assessment Tool Aids in Understanding Team Dynamics 

Posted on October 20, 2020 by J. David Harvey

The virtual world leaves some gaping holes in the way law firms need to operate. Especially when it comes to team collaboration, we must all deal with an environment that is not natural for fomenting human interaction. We have all been on Zoom calls with ten or more people with frequent talk-overs or long periods of what seems like awkward silences. A room full of people who know each other — together in the flesh — sparks natural energy that we can no longer tap for at least the immediate future. That makes understanding the dynamics of team collaboration that much more critical.

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Is Your Lack of Legal Project Management Resources Compromising Firm Performance? 

Posted on October 13, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

A growing number of firms have more than 20 Legal Project Managers who are imbedded like internal consultants, helping matter teams improve their communication, performance metrics, client satisfaction, and more. These firms include Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, Ropes & Gray, and WilmerHale. This group of progressive firms is joined by many other firms across the globe that have teams of 10 or more LPMs in place. 

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Herding Cats: Focus on the End Game 

Posted on September 28, 2020 by Carla Landry

Law firms no longer have a choice. They used to. When markets were stable, and profits were rising across the industry, it was challenging to make a compelling case for change. Never mind that many that did are in enviable positions right now. In the current destabilized economy, the need for process reform is more urgent than ever. Yet, even amid the pandemic, there is and will continue to be significant resistance among lawyers to changing from what some corporate minds refer to as the cost-plus business model. 

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Rethink Your Practice Group Strategy - Part 3 

Posted on September 22, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how practice groups must rethink their strategy to position themselves in the emerging post-pandemic market and formulate quarter-by-quarter implementation strategies that continue their Group’s forward momentum. In Part 2, we focused on how to develop compelling priorities for your practice group.  In addition to short-term, quarter-by-quarter plans, you also need a long-term strategy. For this, we’ll take a look at using scenario planning.

Scenario planning has been used since the 1950s when Herman Kahn of the RAND Corporation employed it with the US military. But Royal Dutch Shell is credited with pioneering this strategic decision-making methodology in business, which prepared them for the energy crisis of the 1970s. 

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BigHand Extends Its Reach 

Posted on September 21, 2020 by

We recently had a chance to sit down with Eric Wangler, the President and head of North American operations at BigHand, to learn more about the company’s view of the legal market its plans for the future in the wake of their recent acquisition by PE firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

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ALSPs: Like Good Hand Hygiene for the Legal Industry 

Posted on September 8, 2020 by Carla Landry

What law firms stand to learn from ALSPs ...

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Law Firm Business Development: Where to Invest Sales Coaching Dollars 

Posted on September 1, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

The best use of any sales coaching investment is with the individuals at the firm who are both interested in continuing to build their business development skills and who are already successful at business development. This includes rainmakers. In fact, rainmakers, with some framework and direction, may increase their book of business to even more significant levels.

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Driving Law Firm Revenues: Quick Tips for Making Client Teams Successful 

Posted on August 17, 2020 by Silvia Coulter and Steven Bell

Studies show that most client team “programs” are not doing well and that many firms do not even have a focus on key clients. This week Silivia Coulter and Steve Bell of LawVision offer some quick tips to consider for enhancing the firm’s client team strategy.


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Client Feedback: Considerations for Client/Referral Source Selection Process 

Posted on August 11, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

In a client-focused firm, obtaining client feedback is an essential part of shaping your firm's culture and strategy.  This week, Silvia Coulter of LawVision offers some pointers for considerion when choosing which clients you should include in your firm's feedback program.

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Law Firm Leadership: Living the Values of Greatness 

Posted on July 20, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

Are you a good leader, or are you a great leader? What makes the difference? In this week's blog post, Silvia Coulter shares some tips about important leadership traits based on her observations of great law firm leaders over the course of her career.  

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LPM is Change for the New Economic Reality: Part Four of a Four-Part series 

Posted on July 14, 2020 by Carla Landry

At the end of the day, LPM is about how people perform their jobs. Period. This is the bottom line advice from LawVision strategist Carly Landry as she wraps up her four-part series on best practices for LPM implementation in your law firm. You can install some fancy new technologies and implement even more souped-up processes. But there is no LPM without people. If you’re going to deliver value, you’ll need to capture the hearts and minds of the people who comprise your firm.  

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Rethink Your Practice Group Strategy -- Part 2 

Posted on July 7, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

As the pace of change in the legal industry (and indeed the world) continues to accelerate, the next few years present the perfect opportunity to consider new and different approaches to traditional business development activities. In part 2 of this series, LawVision consultant Susan Lambreth provides some concrete suggestions about ways that practice groups can adapt their BD strategies to better fit the times. 

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Successfully integrating lateral partner hires: more important — and difficult — than ever 

Posted on June 29, 2020 by J. David Harvey

Integrating laterals into a new firm has always been a risky proposition — more than half do not remain with the firm for more than two years, costing firms from 200 to 400 percent of the attorney’s actual compensation. The challenge of lateral hiring has never been greater than in the current environment with firms continuing to operate remotely, greatly diminishing the opportunity for onboarding new talent face to face.  This article provides a list of best practices to consider in order to give your lateral hires the best chance at success in a virtual way.

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The Time is Now for BigHand Now 

Posted on June 15, 2020 by Joseph Lamport

You can’t manage what you can’t see, so gaining visibility of fundamental aspects of the support function has been key to take our service delivery to new heights.

Brett Chapman, COO of Husch Blackwell, explaining the value proposition of BigHand Now.


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Rethink Your Practice Group Strategy 

Posted on June 10, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

In today’s volatile and uncertain market, practice groups are prudent to focus on quarterly goals and targets instead of the longer-term horizon. Why the short-range emphasis? The world is changing too rapidly for annual or longer goals to be either appropriate or motivational. Because even the most astute prognosticators admit that they really do not know how the market for legal services will look in a year.

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LPM is Change for the New Economic Reality: Part Three of a Four-Part Series 

Posted on June 3, 2020 by Carla Landry

Leveraging Your LPM Technology Spend

LPM, when it's embedded in the fabric of the firm, changes everything. Unstructured and ad-hoc systems become replicable and transparent. Byzantine and ad-hoc processes are overhauled. Clients, who demand efficiency, are satisfied. But it has to be done right. This means putting in place the people, processes and technology that support your initiative.  

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Law Firm Business Development: Differentiate to Win Meeting Opportunities 

Posted on May 18, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

Whether it’s COVID-19 or another current pressing issue that provides a firm’s lawyers with an opportunity to reach out to clients, be mindful to differentiate your firm from others who are delivering similar messaging. We see the need for firms to focus on this particularly in light of the fact that e-alerts, blogs, and other notifications are delivered to clients’ inboxes to the count of 50+ a week.

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The Time is Now to Revamp & Ramp Up Client Team Efforts 

Posted on May 13, 2020 by J. David Harvey

How do you maintain relationships and provide value in a contactless environment? In a recent survey of Washington, D.C. area law firm marketing leaders, two areas stood out: client teams and industry-focused efforts. While these leaders expected a huge decrease in certain activities (like events and the number of pitches), they anticipate an increase in client teams and industry-focused activity.  In fact, with the unprecedented and volatile market changes, now is a prime time to reinvigorate client teams and industry-focused efforts.

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LPM is Change for the New Economic Reality: Part Two of a Four-Part Series 

Posted on May 6, 2020 by Carla Landry

If there was ever a time to tackle the challenge of introducing a project management discipline into your firm, that oppportunity presents itself now, when normal management processes have been thrown into disarray and the entire staff is adjusting to work at home.  If there was ever a time to do the things that are sure to make a significant difference to your bottom line, that opportunity presents itself now, in the face of all the financial uncertainty of the present moment. This article on Law Project Management is the second in a series focused on law practice technology.

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Smart Workforce Strategies to Weather the Pandemic Storm 

Posted on April 29, 2020 by Susan Lambreth

As law firms have implemented their work-from-home (WFH) efforts, three segments of the legal professional groups have emerged. For brevity, we’ve called them: The Taxed, The Redeployables, and The Instructables. Each segment presents a unique challenge, requiring a customized approach that keeps the workforce feeling engaged and supported.  A one-size-fits-all approach to these segments could not only damage morale, it could slow your recovery.

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Creating and Managing a Sales Pipeline Report 

Posted on April 22, 2020 by Silvia Coulter and Steven Bell

Law firms have long employed a standard practice in predicting revenue:  this year’s revenue + X%.  That’s fine, as far as it goes, however, this approach provides only a limited view of all of the opportunities and all of the revenue potential in the firm’s pipeline.  Traditional commercial businesses long have utilized a simple business tool, the weighted pipeline, to better drive and forecast revenue.  Perhaps it’s time for law firms to evaluate this tool, as well.  This article from the LawVision Group explains how to get started on the task.

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Law Firm Business Development: Building a Sales Team 

Posted on February 26, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

With some exceptions, lawyers hate or at least dislike selling. And, they are generally not as good at it as a sales professional with a successful track record. Some firms are realizing the enormous benefits of hiring salespeople and building a sales team. While there may be some initial backlash against management for heading in this direction, strong sales professionals can quickly change partner thinking.

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Legal Project Management is Change for the New Economic Reality (Part One of a Four-Part Series) 

Posted on February 12, 2020 by Carla Landry

Legal project management is the name of the game for law firms today that are looking to up their game with effective management and flawless execution.  This in the first of a four part series in which LawVision strategist Carla Landry explains how your firm can get started on the path to transformation through mastering the discipline of project managment.

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Posted on January 7, 2020 by Bill Lipner

Readers of The LAD know that “quality of service” is a hot button topic for me – because the quality-of-service (QOS or SERVQUAL ) a firm delivers is essential to its success – whether it’s a real estate practice that repeats the same process over and over, or a bespoke litigation firm that is confronted with a new set of variables with every matter.   

QOS is a subset of a “Service Delivery System” (SDS) – the term I suggest using if you’re embarking on a study of the topic.  This article discusses a useful service delivery framework which divides service into Service Culture, Employee Engagement, Service Quality, and Customer Experience.  I am focusing on Service Quality which seeks to define how quality is defined, delivered, and measured.   This is an interesting article on The Impact of Service Delivery System Effectiveness on Service Quality.  If you want the real research on the topic – start with this Wiki article on ServQual.    The wiki mentions 3 researchers in the area of Quality of Service whose teachings are worth exploring if you wish to become an expert on the topic.

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Most Popular Stories of 2019 

Posted on January 5, 2020 by

To know where we’re going first we must know where we have been. So here is our list of the ten most popular stories that appeared in Legal Administrator in 2019 -- a mix of practical and professional advice that should help you prepare for another year that promises to bring even more momentous market change.

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The Roaring 20s 

Posted on December 24, 2019 by Bill Lipner

We’re on the eve of a new decade – and I’m truly excited to welcome it to our world.  I am excited about the changes we can expect to see in the next 10 years that will touch every aspect of our lives.  The impact on business – and in particular – the business of law – will be far ranging.  Old practice areas will die while new practice areas will be birthed to grow into essential practices in the firm of the future.  

Humans will harness information as a tool like never before – the importance of which can be compared to the first stone hammer fashioned by early man.  The distance between us – client and attorney, parent and child, partners or spouse – will shrink to zero as new technologies make new kinds of connections possible – transforming “social media” into “human media”. 

I am not a professional prognosticator although I have been known to procrastinate.   However, I am an observer of trends and see several which are evolving to form a new horizon for us all.  Without further ado – these trends are discussed below.


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Hitting the Sweet Spot for Law Firm Management with Zola Suite 

Posted on December 5, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

In the first part of this series, I wrote about how the platform business model is one of the defining features of our current state of technological and economic development, evident in such business success stories as Uber and Airbnb.  A platform business is one that creates value by facilitating exchanges, of either information, good or services, among otherwise independent groups and individuals via the platform it creates.  I also explained how the platform business model is of growing importance in the legal market, not so much for connecting lawyers to clients but as a means of more effectively connecting the lawyers within a firm and thereby enabling a much more efficient and far more integrated work-flow.

In this second part of the series I’m going to take a closer look at Zola Suite, part of the new generation of cloud-based law practice platforms now available on the market.   Zola Suite formally launched in 2015, after a few years in development, but in fairly short order it has emerged as a market leading solution for mid-sized and larger law firms. This positions Zola in notable contrast to its better-known cloud-based provider, Clio, which has attracted a large number of solos and small firm clients to its platform.

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Welcome to PinHawk's Legal Administrator Microsite 

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Bill Lipner

spinning platesThe responsibilities of my first job as legal administrator was that of Human Resources.  Creating an employee handbooks, looking after insurance benefits and claims, time and attendance and similar tasks were the bread and butter of the position.  Along the way, I moved this 12-attorney firm from Lanier stand-along word processors to Kaypro Computers running WordPerfect.  All very tactical work.   My second job as an administrator was similar in nature, although I was elevated to preparing bi-monthly meeting books for the partners meetings.  And I organized the food and drink for the Friday afternoon client-social-hour.   Those were the days.  

Welcome to the Legal Administrator Micro-site.   This site is less news, and more opinion or discussion.  You are invited to send in articles or suggestions for articles.  The site is here to spur discussion and perhaps – if we’re doing our jobs – new insights. 

But I digress. 

I marvel at how the arc of time has transformed the job of legal administrator – no matter what size firm.  I am firmly convinced that the “business of law” is in a transition: we’re in the “industrialization’ of the business of law, moving from guild to business process and business practice.  And along the way these things are happening:

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The Law Practice Platform 

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

In the past, law firms were held together primarily by their partnership agreements, which laid out the rules for how firm-wide decisions got made and how the spoils of collective labor would be divvied up.  Law firms of the future – whether they are organized as partnerships, LLCs or some other alternative business structure – will most certainly be far more dependent on whatever practice platform they choose to adopt.  It will be the practice platform, much more than the partnership agreement, that provides the insight, controls and coherence that holds the firm together.  

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Parsons Behle Lab: Ringing the Bell for Market Innovation 

Posted on October 15, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

Parsons Behle Lab has embarked on an ambitious tech development effort, which represents a striking departure from the way most law firms have approached similar innovation and tech development initiatives. They are in the process of building a new type of law practice platform, which is open for other law firms and lawyers to use, and which enables participating firms to expand the services they offer to their own clients.  It's a platform that seems laden with opportunity for all those who choose to get involved. 

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