Firm Leadership

Rants, Raves, Rebuttals, Reflections, Revelations & Ruminations

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Post #816 – May 2, 2019

Lucrative Micro-Niche Practice: Climate Change  (Part 2)

How can lawyers and law firms stake a claim in the potentially lucrative practice surrounding climate change?  Part 2 continues to discuss ways firms can find new business in these Micro-Niche areas

As climate disruption continues, insightful attorneys might also expect to see (and serve) a huge groundswell of startups from providers of AI-powered weather prediction data to companies focusing their efforts on capturing, storing and converting carbon emissions into salable products.

Read Part 2 of the article here:    

Post #815 – April 18, 2019

Lucrative Micro-Niche Practice: Climate Change (Part 1)

This is another in a series of short articles that I am doing on what I call micro-niches - slivers of potentially lucrative opportunity for those attorneys and practice groups that care to invest the non-billable time in building the necessary skills to develop themselves as the "go-to" experts

Today, at least 14 US cities, five counties, one state, and a group of children are suing some of the largest Oil and Gas companies for selling products that contribute to global warming while misleading the public (reminiscent of tobacco litigation) about the harm of their products.  It is estimated that more than 1,400 climate change litigation cases have been filed to date around the world, covering 25 countries and a variety of issues, claimants, and defendants.  This current wave of litigation is raising new legal questions in the context of climate change for the first time.

Read Part 1 of the article here:    

Post #814 – April 1, 2019

Lucrative Micro-Niche Practice: Esports

This is another in a series of short articles that I am doing on what I call micro-niches - slivers of potentially lucrative opportunity for those attorneys and practice groups that care to invest the non-billable time in building the necessary skills to develop themselves as the "go-to" experts

For the uninformed, esports law is an amalgamation of multiple disciplines – labor and employment, contracts, endorsements, sponsorships, gaming, intellectual property and all the things that come with those arrangements.  Potential clients are likely to include individual gamers, but also the game publishers, organizations building potential leagues, sports competition venues, media, entertainment, and advertising companies, and let’s not forget potential investors and private equities.  The esports industry is expected to reach $1.1 billion this year, based on projections; with a growth rate of 22.3 percent year over year.

Post #813 – March 20, 2019

When It Comes Time To Instigate Change

Every few years a new theme emerges in law firm management.   There was a time and perhaps it still exists where we witnessed resistant attorneys being forced to take the marketing of professional services seriously.   We have all since observed initiatives like total quality management, branding programs, alternate billing methods, and project management assume center stage.   Meanwhile, many of our skeptical and often times, senior partners have chosen to sit on the sidelines.

So why is it that these professionals are so skeptical? 

From understanding the “Challenges of Implementing Your Initiatives” and “Helping Your Partners See The Need to Change” to “Helping Your Partners Take Action” and “Nurturing Your Partners To Follow-Though,” this 50-page eBook will provide advice and counsel on how to convert your best intentions into best practices.


Online Reader:

Post #812 – March 1, 2019

Lucrative Micro-Niche Practice: Digital Transformation (Part 2)

According to research from Workfront, $1 trillion was the amount companies spent on digital transformation in 2018 and 70% of transformation projects won’t achieve their intended results.

There are usually four approaches that companies take with their digital transformation efforts, each of which could benefit from expert legal counsel – top-down committed direction; establishing dedicated change teams; with an innovation lab; and through launching strategic partnerships.

Post # 811 – February 20, 2019

Lucrative Micro-Niche Practice: Digital Transformation (Part 1)

This is the first in a series of short articles that I am doing on what I call micro-niches - slivers of potentially lucrative opportunity for those attorneys and practice groups that care to invest the non-billable time in building the necessary skills to develop themselves as the "go-to" experts.

Welcome to Digital Transformation, a practice in which Deloitte already has dozens of lawyers serving global corporations, and where I can only find one US firm with their toes in the water.

Post #810 – February 11, 2019

When Your Strategic Plan Needs To Get Implemented

Planning is not doing. Unfortunately, some partners believe that implementing the strategy and “getting their hands dirty” is beneath them. They act as if implementation is something best left to the non-legal professionals in the firm. This view holds that one group does the innovative strategizing work (“the thinkers”), and then hands the ball off to lower levels. If things go awry, the problem is placed squarely at the feet of the “doers,” who somehow couldn’t implement a “perfectly sound” plan.

Whenever I think about the effort that is required to go into implementing your firm’s strategic plan, I’m reminded of a particular business book title that grabbed my attention when I first saw it . . . Hope Is Not A Strategy!

To effectively transform your best intentions into tangible action, there are EIGHT common hurdles that you may need to overcome. Thinking through the following will help you make the leap . . . 

Included in the newest edition of Legal Business World:

Post #809 – February 1, 2019

Annoying Phrases in Emails

A poll by Adobe has uncovered the most annoying phrases to receive in a work email.  It is a poll rammed with all manner of passive-aggressive neediness and belligerence, but what do the phrases really mean?  Here are some of the most annoying, decoded.

• ‘Not sure if you saw my last email’
Perhaps you were busy at lunch, or having a nice time with your children or visiting your sick mother.  Whatever it was, I am more important.  Please work until you are dead.

• ‘Per my last email’
I use the word “per” now, because I want my vaguely legal-sounding vocabulary to create fear deep in your stupid bovine heart.

• ‘Per our conversation’
I am creating a paper trail, because this entire project is about to go belly up and I definitely want everyone to know that this whole mess is exclusively your fault, even though it is probably mine.

• ‘Any updates on this?’
I am phrasing this as a question because screaming “I DEMAND IMMEDIATE UPDATES!” makes me look deranged.

• ‘Sorry for the double email’
I am not sorry. I like sending double emails. They make me feel powerful. Tomorrow I am going to send you a triple email, and I won’t be sorry about that, either. 

• ‘Please advise’
I am washing my hands of this whole tawdry cock-up and dumping all responsibility on to you. 

• ‘As previously stated’
I cannot believe you ignored one of my statements. Can you imagine if Noah had ignored God’s statement about the flood? I want you to place similar importance on a spreadsheet about office fittings that I will never even look at.

• ‘As discussed’
“Discussed” obviously means “demanded.”  Fear me.

• ‘Re-attaching for convenience’
I do not just want to clog up your inbox with unnecessary reminders; I also want to clog up your inbox with documents you already own.  Feel free to cry at your desk at the earliest convenience. 

Courtesy of The Irish Times

Post #808 – January 15, 2019


Strategic Challenges That New Firm Leaders Face

The recent announcement from Baker McKenzie that their global chairman would be taking a medical leave due to severe exhaustion took many by surprise.  But Paul Rawlinson is far from alone, among firm leaders that I have worked with over the years, in having to contend with a position that has grown ever more demanding with challenges that are usually not fully recognized when first taking on the role.  Most lawyers have NO idea what the huge scope of this job entails (ever seen a job description?), how much exhausting travel can be involved, how much time it really requires, how lonely it can be at the top, and how ill prepared many new firm leaders are when they assume office!

Post #807 – January 2, 2019


Conducting A Strategic Review Versus A Strategic Plan

I believe that instigating a strategic review is very different from initiating a strategic plan, but the two often get confused.  I see too many firms thinking that they are developing a strategic plan when they are really investing their time in conducting a strategic review.

How is a strategic plan different?

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