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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

The New World of Legal Work – Comments on Jordan Furlong Report

Jordan Furlong of Law21 has written a new and provocative study, The New World of Legal Work: The Changing Rules of The 21st Century. It was commissioned by LOD, formerly known as Lawyers on Demand, which is affiliated with UK law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner>. I comment briefly on

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

Open Letter to General Counsels: Five Imperatives for 2012

Dear General Counsel: You face ever-increasing pressure to control and predict cost. Here are steps I suggest you take to accomplish this: 1. DETERMINE WHAT PROBLEM YOU NEED TO SOLVE Are you trying to reduce risk? Reduce cost? Improve service to your internal clients? Gain a seat at t

Process Improvement – LPO and KM – as Legal Market Disruptors

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) has long meant “lower cost labor in India” to many lawyers. But LPO is fundamentally more about working smarter, not cheaper. A recent New York Times article drives home this point. And an American Lawyer op-ed explains the “news behin

Competing on Process: LPOs Pushing Law Firms?

Last week I read with interest Jordan Furlong’s blog post The evolution of outsourcing. He notes that though LPO is “in its relative infancy, legal process outsourcing has already had a huge impact on the legal services marketplace”. Jordan focuses on two effects out

Practice and Process Improvement – Part II

Last November I suggested that in law firms, it was not obvious who should be responsible for practice and process improvement. A new answer may be emerging. Hildebrandt consultant Susan Raridon Lambreth wrote an excellent article, How Do Practice Leaders Get Their Jobs Done and Still

2006 (Not) Technology Prediction

My 2006 technology prediction for BigLaw: Forget about technology per se. Instead, lawyers must adopt new ways of working. Changing how lawyers work is tough. On the tech side, even a roll out of easy-to-use new software requires cajoling and hand-holding. Vendors know this. They now

Practice and Process Improvement in Law Firms

US corporations invest a lot in process improvements. And now law firms show signs of doing the same. Two recent ILTA white paper excellent articles (Don’t Support the Practice of Law – Support the Business of Practicing Law and The Value Proposition of the Business Analys

The “Toyota Approach” to Best Practices

In To Fix Health Care, Hospitals Take Tips From Factory Floor, the Wall Street Journal (4/9/04, p. 1) reports that hospitals are applying techniques pioneered by John Deming and used heavily by Japanese manufacturers to improve the quality of health care. Lawyers and law firms and dep