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Category Archives: Law firm practices

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Communicating With “The Client” – Lessons From Lex

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Outside Counsel

By Pam Woldow & Douglas Richardson (Part 3 of 5, LPM in Transactional Practices) Welcome Back, Lex In the last several posts, we’ve been telling you about Lex, the head of a national firm’s transactional practice group, and his staunch support for the application of Legal Project Management (LPM) principles and practices to transactional work…. Continue Reading

KM Triumphs at the Lex & Larry LPM Showdown

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

(Part 2 of 5, LPM in Transactional Practices) Welcome Back, Lex In our last post, we introduced you to “Lex,” head of a large firm’s transactional practice group and a powerful spokesman for the benefits of applying legal project management (LPM) principles to transactional legal work. What Lawyers Should Do Lex learned — and now… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management: Lessons from “Lex” (Part 1 of 5, LPM and Transactional Practices)

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management

But Not for Me Over the course of four years of implementing large law firm Legal Project Management (LPM) initiatives, it has been common for transactional lawyers to ‘inform’ me that the whole Legal Project Management (LPM) trend may be well and good for litigators, but has little to add to the effectiveness of lawyers… Continue Reading

A New Approach to Collaboration: Legal Project Management

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Outside Counsel, Request for Proposal

Given the hard-nosed economic realities of the legal profession, it strikes many lawyers as a little touchy-feely, and even a bit naïve, to speak of “partnerships” between law firms and their clients. Although the parties share a need and appreciation for high-quality legal work, law is basically a vendor-purchaser relationship where one side’s desire to… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management Momentum: The Dechert Experience

Posted in Alternative Fee Arrangements, Law firm practices, Law Firm Profits, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools, Legal Spend

In 2009, Dechert established itself as a committed first-adopter in the burgeoning Legal Project Management (LPM) trend by offering LPM training to every partner in its U.S.and European offices, certainly a major undertaking. I was retained to design and facilitate LPM training that included scores of workshops for hundreds of partners over a 9-month period…. Continue Reading

Lawyer Burnout Syndrome: It Blows Your Mind

Posted in Law firm practices

You may have seen – and recoiled – at the recent news item about the 32 year old Skadden associate who died of a heart attack.  Those who knew her put it differently: “she worked herself to death.”  Apparently she was an extreme-case workaholic who remained glued to her desk, billing huge amounts of hours,… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management Tools: Let Rube Goldberg Rest in Peace

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

Asked how he likes his “next generation” automatic dishwasher, the disgruntled purchaser’s voice drips with disdain: “Totally useless,” he says. “I’ve had it a week now, and it hasn’t even cleared the table yet.” I’ve heard similar responses from law firms that thought their Legal Project Management (LPM) implementation would be effortless if only they… Continue Reading

Is Legal Project Management Really Different than Project Management?

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

In recent weeks, several bloggers have waged a spirited debate about whether Legal Project Management (LPM) is really just plain, old Project Management in a law firm setting.  As you might expect, there are advocates on every side plus plenty of folks asking, who cares?  Here’s my take, as posted at 3 Geeks and a… Continue Reading

Room at the Waterhole: Midsize Firms Making the Most of the Middle

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Spend, Midsize firms, Outside Counsel

Many pundits would have us believe that sweeping changes in the legal profession will crunch medium size firms between the “we-can-do-everything-for-everybody” Goliaths and the new generation of super-lean virtual firms and narrow-niche boutiques.  However, a number of midsize firms I’ve spoken with claim, to paraphrase Mark Twain, that reports of their imminent demise are greatly… Continue Reading

5 Key Takeaways from General Counsel Outside the US

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

More than 60 in-house General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers met in Sao Paulo last month to participate in the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA) annual meeting. They haled from companies based throughout Latin America, as well as international companies with major offices in Latin America. A sampling of the companies included Dow Corning,… Continue Reading

Double Vision: Evolving Perspectives on Law Firms

Posted in Alternative Fee Arrangements, General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

If the legal profession is indeed driving toward a “new normal,” it has not yet resolved which road it will take. On one hand, the Goliaths continue to bulk up, and there clearly is a lot of life left in the Big-Bigger-BiggestLaw model. 2010 was a dormant year for mergers, but in 2011 the big… Continue Reading

General Counsel Colloquium

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel, Request for Proposal

Thanks to one savvy GC for the great suggestion that At the Intersection provide a periodic summary of the posts for corporate counsel.  Here then is the roll call (in reverse chronological order): The Client’s New Voice No Place to Hide Warning Bells Legal Project Management Moves In-House An Open Letter to General Counsel in… Continue Reading

Drivin’ the Legal Project Management Road

Posted in Law firm practices, Law Firm Profits, Legal Project Management, Outside Counsel

The managing partner of a large firm has just called with my most common FAQ: “So what’s the best way for us to implement Legal Project Management (LPM)?  How do we gear up and get up to speed quickly?” Appropriating his automotive metaphor, I said that while I understood the desire to accelerate quickly, the… Continue Reading

Bodycount

Posted in Law firm practices, Law Firm Profits, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

The glowing reports of law firm profits that have occupied recent headlines may make it seem like the legal industry is returning to the “Way We Were” in the pre-2007 Golden Era, and everyone can breathe easy. Here’s a sampling of those headlines: In 2010, Fried Frank’s profits per partner surged 28% to $1.6 million.  Gibson Dunn’s… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management: The Communications Component

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

In this post I collaborate with my Edge colleague, Doug Richardson, who has decades of experience as a communications guru. Doug and I often teach Legal Project Management Workshops together for law firms and legal departments. © 2011, Edge International US, LLC True Tales Let’s start with a few true-life wake-up calls.  First, the bad news:… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management: An Expanding Perspective

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

The most significant news on the legal project management (LPM) front is that the thinking is evolving about the roles and responsibilities of the players. Until fairly recently, LPM was seen as a re-engineering of legal service delivery that took place primarily within the law firm. In other words, the firms promised their clients that… Continue Reading

The Client’s New Voice

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel, Request for Proposal

Most commentators agree that the economically-driven sea change in the legal profession has changed the way legal services are procured and has shifted the balance of negotiating and pricing power from law firms to their clients. Corporate counsel now have mandates from the C-Suite to do more with less, contain costs, think outside the box… Continue Reading

Bottleneck Blues

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Outside Counsel

 The best way to identify a law firm bottleneck is not to query the people who have the biggest investment in the bottle: the old ways, the old days, behaviors shaped by longstanding habits.  Better to ask the ground level timekeepers – the people stuck in the bottle — what most frustrates their efforts and… Continue Reading

The 7 Deadly Law Firm Write-Off Sins

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Outside Counsel

In my last post of 2010, I described an action-packed three months in the trenches delivering Legal Project Management programs to various firms, capped by 17 straight one-day stands in December.  I said we were learning a lot about law firm best practices, worst practices and non-existent practices, and promised to share some lessons learned… Continue Reading