Cover of book "Give and Take" by Adam Grant

Law Firm Networking: What’s In It For Us

Ten years or so ago I attended my first sales training class. The speaker emphasized that it was critical to recognize that all sales prospects listen to the same radio station. Its call letters are WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? Since then dozens of speakers and articles have repeated either this exact example or […]

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Make the Obvious Customer Driven Change

Growing a law firm involves a myriad of steps, some of which can be difficult to determine. There is, however, a category of changes that is a good place to start when considering business-building and marketing strategies. They are requests and complaints made by your clients and prospective clients. A recent experience in a coffee […]

monopoly pay

Determining Compensation Levels for Law Firm Staff

Law firm leaders too often rely on precedent when making managerial decisions for their firms. A prime example of this is how they decide how much to pay staff members (and to a lesser extent junior lawyers). The most common mistake is to set compensation levels based on historical experience. For example, a law firm […]


Law Firm Resolution: A 5,000 Billable Hour Year

It’s the middle of January and many New Year’s resolutions have already bitten the dust. In part that’s because setting annual goals is inherently unreliable, especially when the goal isn’t accompanied by a mechanism for reaching it. Annual billable targets for law firms aren’t exactly resolutions. In most firms they are couched as requirements that […]

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Issue Spotting Isn’t a Law Firm Business Strategy

Lawyers have been traditionally rewarded for spotting issues. Most law school exams were of the issue-spotting variety. As a result, law school grades and law jobs are correlated with the ability to spot issues. That might seem logical or benign, but it isn’t. As a business development tool, the ability to spot issues without more […]

The year 2016

Create a Six-Month Law Firm Budget

It’s that time of year when we tend to think in terms of years. People create new year’s resolutions, even though there is a lot of evidence they don’t actually help reaching goals. And in the business world, we create annual budgets. In my experience, however, too many law firms either don’t create budgets at […]

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Are Law Firm Holiday Cards Becoming Obsolete?

I received twice as many holiday cards from law firms in 2014 than I have so far this year. And an unscientific survey of law firms suggests that this might be a growing trend. For example, the managing partner of a firm that displays the cards it receives in its reception area also noted that […]

empty cash register

Keep More Cash in the Register

For too many law firms the holiday season is accompanied by an unfortunate tradition. It’s not the bad egg nog or the awkward silence that follows an inappropriate comment made by a lawyer who had too much to drink. This law firm holiday tradition is financial in nature. Specifically, it’s when the equity partners of […]

coffee mug "keep calm and reconcile"

Don’t Forget Your Exes & Your Near Misses

Law firm marketing efforts tend to focus on the new; new clients, new practice areas, and new lateral partners. At many firms, marketing efforts directed to the old often take the form of electronic newsletters and, this time of year, holiday cards. In this context, old primarily refers to former clients and referral sources. If […]

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Networking Up: Attracting a Law Firm Mentor

You might be harboring contradictory sentiments about how a more junior attorney should interact with the most experienced or influential partners. One the one hand, your internal dialogue might criticize senior associates who you view as “kiss ups” or “ass kissers.”  But at the same time you know that you need a mentor. So how […]