LawBiz® Blog

LawBiz® Blog

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Tag Archives: Finance

The Problem with Bankruptcy Isn’t Attorneys’ Fees, It’s Executive Incompetence – As Posted in Alan Weiss’s Contrarian Consulting Blog.

Posted in In The News
Recently my article about Who Sets The Lawyer Fees was used as a guest blog by Alan Weiss.  The blog discusses the recent Wall Street Journal article about the Justice Department’s attempt to control fees that the bankruptcy lawyers seek, and the possibility that the U.S. Trustee Program may now be entering the fray. In … Continue Reading

Blogging Power

Posted in Management
Verizon – Redux:  The power of blogging is apparent when Verizon calls me the day after my original post in this column about their service, or lack thereof, to ask how they can address the problems I raised.  I glad to say that the issues I raised have been resolved. The process, however, is fascinating … Continue Reading

Legal fees are high – according to whom?

Posted in Cash Flow - Finances, Management
In today’s Wall Street Journal,  staff writer, Jacqueline Palank discusses the Justice Department’s attempt to control fees that bankruptcy lawyers seek. Creditors and employees may, at times, be a bit disgruntled by such fees. So, now, the U.S. Trustee Program appears to be entering the fray. Before going further, it should be noted that i) … Continue Reading

“Caveat Emptor” Is No Way to Practice Law

Posted in Management, Marketing
In the Opinion section of today’s Wall Street Journal, two fellows from the Brookings Institute espouse their philosophy for deregulating the legal profession:  Let anyone practice law; whether they’ve gone through law school or not, and allow anyone to own a law firm. These are not new ideas, but the assertion that these ideas are … Continue Reading

Are you sure you have malpractice coverage?

Posted in Management
Fee suit exclusions seem to be the latest insurance ploy to cheat unsuspecting lawyers. An engagement agreement is designed to be a "two way street." The lawyer promises to do certain things… address the needs (and wants?) of the client; represent the client to address the challenge being faced by the client, whether it be … Continue Reading

Women are moving up

Posted in Management
In a recent study of the top 100 general counsel, a woman was listed as the top earner (more than $6 million) and more women (14) appeared in the list. This is the first and most since the study began. … Continue Reading

Can non-lawyers own a law firm?

Posted in Management, Marketing
Yes, say some. Only a short time ago, we believed that non-lawyers would be able to participate in the ownership of American law firms. The pressure, so we believed, would come from the British Empire. Australia already allows this and it will soon be permitted in England. But, not the U.S. … until now. The … Continue Reading

Lawyers Are Not Patient …

Posted in Management
Effective March 15, the Howrey law firm, which once employed as many as 750 lawyers, dissolved. As in past megafirm failures … Brobeck, Altheimer, Thelen, the list goes on … there never is just one, but a variety of root causes that feed the primary death blow, an exodus of lawyers.    In Howrey’s case as a … Continue Reading

Digitizing All Your Files

Posted in Management, Technology
  In today’s Managing Partners Roundtable, we talked about the costs of digitizing all files the firm maintains. One partner suggested that failure to do so might result in malpractice allegations. This is an interesting concept, one that I don’t believe has yet taken hold. Cons: Expensive, time consuming, lawyers must be involved to determine … Continue Reading

Selling a Practice is No Time to be Modest

Posted in Buying & Selling a Practice
 My friend and colleague Carolyn Elefant, on her MyShingle.com blog, recently spoke to me about issues in selling a law practice (/). Carolyn raised an excellent point when discussing an advertisement by a 70-year old lawyer in Kansas who sought to sell his practice. The advertisement featured the fact that the firm uses practice management software tools … Continue Reading

Think for yourself – Work your ideas, not others

Posted in Management
Today, I had a discussion with a very bright individual who is seeking new office quarters. He was having difficulty with the math, so he thought. He was seeking to understand the interplay between basic rent, common area charges (charges for maintenance, taxes, etc. that the landlord assesses at the end of each lease year … Continue Reading

Malpractice Insurance Report

Posted in Personal Thoughts
In the recent California Lawyer’s Annual Professional Liability Insurance Report, the writer quotes the ABA. Their study shows that 44,000 claims were lodged against insured lawyers nationally within the study’s three year period. Of this group, “…(s)olos and smaller firms were sued the most: 70 percent of all insurance claims were brought against lawyers in … Continue Reading

Recalibration of law practice economics

Posted in Cash Flow - Finances
NALP survey suggests that 2% of 2008 graduates opened a solo practice within 9 months of graduation! That’s a lot of folks who will be representing clients without prior experience either in the management of a practice or much experience in the technical practice areas (tax, family law, bankruptcy, etc.). I wonder what kind of … Continue Reading

Billable hour – Almost dead?

Posted in Management, Marketing
There’s much talk about the end of the billable hour. Because it’s easy to administer, it will be stay around so long as clients accept it. This highlights the difference between the large firms and others. The large firms deal with large clients … who have purchasing power others don’t.  The real question is not … Continue Reading

Layoff summary

Posted in Management
A recent quote from Associated Press:  "The economic downturn has meant less work for law firms, fewer experienced attorneys leaving jobs and thousands of lawyers laid off. From August 2008 to August 2009, total law office employment fell by nearly 26,000 jobs, a mere 2 percent but striking for an industry accustomed to constant growth." … Continue Reading

Bullying or Cooperation – Which is more profitable?

Posted in Management
Bullies cost you money! Addressing this topic is not a "soft skill" but one that goes right to the "bottom line." Tolerate bullying in the workplace and you will experience lost time, lost ncentive and lost resources when skilled staff take time off from work, lose motivation or suffer stress burnout and leave the job … Continue Reading