Firms don’t hesitate to trumpet their accolades, especially the “best lawyers” lists and similar click bait.
When the firm’s marketing department pushes that list to your email inbox, and the lawyers you work with regularly aren’t on it, shouldn’t you be asking, “why aren’t they?”
We missed this announcement from Jackson Lewis (a large national employment law firm) in November, 2014, stating that an associate’s billable hours will no longer be taken into account in his or her performance evaluations. We applaud this decision, and hope to see this factor removed from partner-level evaluations (read: profit participation determinations) as well.
Individuals in any organization ought to be evaluated on the basis of accomplishments, not time spent. Is this harder to do? Of course.
How should accomplishments be evaluated? Hint: ask your customers who receive the service and are in the best position to evaluate its worth.
We’ll answer. We promise.
A high profits per partner rank sends an important message to clients: “we’ve got margin to burn.” Continue reading
We came across this excellent post by Patrick J. Lamb at In Search of Perfect Client Service awhile ago, and recently passed it on to colleagues whose outside counsel are doing the “alternative fee shuffle”. We’re all kidding ourselves when we define “alternative fees” as “anything that’s not straight hourly rates.” As Patrick says: Continue reading
So we’ve been in the middle of some (finally) productive m&a activity in the last few months. Like daisies after a rainstorm, the dormant deal lawyers haven’t been far behind. And so are some of their maddening concepts of client service. Continue reading
So last weekend, on a quiet nondescript morning, coffee freshly poured I thought, “No finer time than right now to review some law firm invoices.” Ok, I didn’t really think that, but since this past week was going to be highly unproductive (it didn’t disappoint) it was time to get the mundane out of the way.
I pulled the first one off the stack. The General Matters invoice. There was only one entry:
“Review recent court decisions concerning intellectual property rights. 0.6 hrs.”
The expense statement was even better.
“LEXIS/NEXIS case searches for recent court decisions concerning intellectual property rights . . . . . $467.00”
Now all this would be perfectly acceptable if we had actually engaged the firm to do some research. But we hadn’t. Hmmm… this was probably just another time entry foul-up (expense charge too — same day, probably automated). No big deal. We’ll just call and have it fixed. Continue reading
Please don’t nag us to pay your December 10th invoices by year end. Continue reading
We’ve all made the mistake of giving an assignment and failing to establish a clear deadline. Outside counsel are no different from your staff or anyone else you’re collaborating with. Continue reading
Nothing new here: things are slowing down (except bankruptcy and litigation, naturally.) If you’re not asking for discounts, you’re not doing your job. Continue reading
In film production they call it “the magic hour”: that wonderful time of day when the sun is low in the sky, and the ambient light takes on a golden hue that makes everyone look great. Continue reading