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Maintaining Profitability with New Approaches to Legal and Business Support

Today I presented at the ALA 2014 annual conference on Maintaining Profitability with New Approaches to Legal and Business Support.  The slides are below.  I previously provided a preview of the talk in my March 2014 blog post, Steps to Survive the Coming Competition. Topics I cover i

Clifford Chance Adopts Continuous Improvement Program

This week Clifford Chance, one of the largest law firms in the world, published a white paper called Applying Continuous Improvement to high-end legal services.  I view it as a potential turning point in BigLaw. A few other law firms, especially Seyfarth Shaw with SeyfarthLean, have p

Refining the “Knowledge Advantage” and Getting Back Into Your Clients’ Inner Circle of Trusted Advisors

This is a live post from the Ark Group/Managing Partner’s 9th Annual Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession.  This session is Refining the “Knowledge Advantage” and Getting Back Into Your Clients’ Inner Circle of Trusted Advisors with Kevin E. Colangelo, Client Relations Officer

The Future of Law is Process

Legal professionals debate if the ‘new normal’ will differ from the ‘old normal’. Aric Press’ American Lawyer editorial, The Change Agenda: Can You Hear the Ice Melting? shifts the question from ‘if’ to ‘how’. The answer to ‘

Do the US and UK Spend Too Much on Legal Services?

Big US and UK companies have cut spending on BigLaw. Has anyone stepped back to ask how much should they should spend? The current US debate on health helps illuminate the answer.  The US spends far more on health care than other developed countries yet achieves similar outcomes.

Reducing Legal Costs Beyond Tinkering with Price

We may or may not be in the midst of a legal market revolution. Many an article suggests that general counsels are slashing costs. At best, however, the data are still anecdotal. GCs are, at most, tinkering with pricing rather than removing costs.  By “tinkering with pricin

Are Lawyers Even as Systematic as Artists?

I’ve long argued that lawyers need to develop and follow best practices. Two recent cases show what happens when lawyers allegedly skip steps.  Failure to File Routine Financial Statements Can Mean Trouble for Law Firms, AmLaw Daily Blog 9 June 2009, describes how two AmLaw

Questioning Truisms (More on Evidence Based Law)

My previous post discussed best practices and applying data analysis to questions of law practice and practice management. Subsequently I read an article by Ben W. Heineman, Jr., former General Counsel of General Electric. In Big Isn’t Always Best in Corporate Counsel (Nov 2008)

Evidence Based Law

How much longer will lawyers resist the idea of best practices? Perhaps they can learn from baseball.  I frequently write about “evidence based law“, an extension of the idea of “evidence based medicine.” Last week, Billy Beane (GM of Oakland A’s), N

Measuring Lawyer Quality

I recently suggested lawyers call “timeout” when they see a problem in how law is practiced.  Doctors and pilots use checklists and have the ability to call timeout. I think a big difference between lawyers and other professionals is that lawyer errors may never becom