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The True Costs of Independent Contractor at Law Firms

Law firms have traditionally hired employees as opposed to independent contractors.  In the past ten years, however, there has been an increasing trend to hire independent contractors for a whole range of work.  For example, staffing companies now routinely provide lawyers to law firms on a project basis. Historically these were likely to be document […]

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The Myth of Feeling Indispensable

Many lawyers and law firms have a difficult time scaling their practices.  Too often lawyers are the bottleneck in the decision-making process. I used to think that this was largely a function of not being trained to delegate, combined with not fully understanding the financial benefits associated with leveraging time. Those factors are still relevant, […]

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Do Nice Lawyers Attract Fewer Clients?

Conventional wisdom is that people want to work with people they like. But is that true for lawyers, who are sometimes called upon to do things that are decidedly not nice? To what extent are lawyers selected precisely because they are perceived capable of being not nice, and does that put nice lawyers at a […]

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Selecting Resilient Lawyers

Many lawyers struggle to build a book of business because they are on average less resilient than entrepreneurs. Research has shown that as a group lawyers are dramatically less able to bounce back from negative events than most people. And law schools and law firms tend to go out of their way to find high-achieving […]

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Why Law Firms Mismanage Their Profit Margins

Too many lawyers don’t know how much profit they generate from different kinds of work they do on behalf of clients. When I ask potential clients questions about their margins, most say that they can track that information down for me. And most lawyers don’t understand why I think that they should know that number […]

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Why Attorneys Should Provide Non-Legal Support to Their Clients

An accomplished large law firm corporate attorney recently told me, “I want my clients calling me for everything.” This statement was made in the context of him describing how he regularly refers a variety of service providers to his clients, many of whom aren’t lawyers. He wants to cultivate a sense in his clients’ minds […]

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How to Evaluate a Lateral Partner Move

Attorneys are changing law firms at an unprecedented rate. Many of those who are changing employers are of counsel, non-non-equity partners, and even associates with a relatively modest book of business. As a result, law firms need to evaluate a wider array of lawyers. Too often, neither the law firm nor the lawyer has a […]

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How to Keep Law Firm Rainmakers Happy

Law firms that thrive take care of their rainmakers. And too many firms act as if compensation is the only issue that matters in this context. In the last decade originating partners (i.e., the partner that is primarily responsible for bringing in a client or who have the primary responsibility for maintaining the client relationship) […]

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When Law Firms and Family Members Don’t Mix

There are two scenarios in which law firm leaders mismanage how they interact with family members who are in a direct business relationship with the firm.  On is when a family member becomes a client of the firm on something other than the normal arrangement that the firm has with other clients.  The other is […]

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When to Walk Away From an Uncollected Attorney’s Fee

In my experience consulting with law firms, almost every attorney knows what the rules say about collecting unpaid fees from an existing client.  That’s because the applicable rules and regulations are relatively straightforward.  Generally speaking, a lawyer may end a representation if the client isn’t paying the lawyer.  But the ethics rules sometimes prohibit a […]