The $60-Per-Hour Lawyer—Why Dewey Isn’t Ab-Normal
Paul Lippe, ABA Journal, The New Normal
When lawyers describe what they do, they may say “we do very sophisticated, unique, bet-the-company work.” In fact, most of the work that actually gets billed is process work. Just look at an enormous bill like the Lehman bankruptcy. How many of those hours represent unique insight, and how many represent moving information from one place to another? (read the post)
Alt Fees Won’t Work Without Trust, Talk and Changes in Partner Comp
Rachel M. Zahorsky, ABA Journal
Whether fixed, value-based, discounted, phased or blended, successful alternative fee arrangements require greater trust and communication with clients and a closer look at revenue tracking and partner compensation systems.
Identifying the most important values of each client when it comes to legal matters–whether it’s winning a case or monthly cash-flow predictability–also sat at the top of the list of lawyer must-dos during an ABA Techshow presentation today titled, “Yes, It’s Really Time for Value-Based Billing.” (read the article)
New paper examines legal iPad adoption and associated risks
Study also offers 5 tips for minimizing risks with mobile workflows
Alex Vorro, InsideCounsel
Microsystems, a suburban Chicago-based solutions provider, yesterday released a paper, “Legal iPad Adoption and the Associated Risks,” which details the risks associated with mobile device integration that may affect client service and expose organizations to unwanted content loss, document corruption and metadata disclosure. (read the article)
More in-house lawyers are exercising power over law firms
New ACC survey shows power shift from firms to corporate legal departments
Ashley Post, InsideCounsel
According to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), in-house legal teams are toughening up. The association released a survey yesterday revealing that corporate law departments are increasingly calling the shots in their relationships with outside law firms and clients. The 4,161 in-house lawyers who participated in the survey reported that they are cutting outside counsel spend by taking on more work in-house, demanding discounts and alternative fee arrangements from their law firms, and boosting their hiring, sometimes hiring fresh law school graduates. (read the article)
Must-Have Performance Metrics For Law Departments
Rebecca Thorkildsen, Law360
Creating a meaningful performance measurement program is one of the biggest challenges for law department managers. It is relatively easy to identify a basic set of measures that would apply to most law departments. For example, most track department-level expenditures against annual budgets. Similarly, most law departments use outside legal service providers, and they typically monitor aggregate costs and run basic reports such as “Top 10 Most Expensive Matters” or “Outside Spend by Legal Service Provider.” Tracking this information over time is useful and necessary. (read the post)
Guest article: Meeting the Value Challenge – or How to Manage Legal Services and Deliver Business Value
David Samia, Legal Technology Insider
Legal departments are indispensable to today’s organizations; yet, they have traditionally been viewed as cost centers that are necessary to minimize business risk rather than a strategic asset that is aligned with achieving an organization’s business goals. Today’s Law departments must do far more than simply protect the business; they must help proactively grow it. (read the post)
Measuring Legal Outcomes and Client Experiences
Ron Friedman, Prism Legal
As the leader of a legal team that constantly evaluates performance and compensates the players (inside and outside counsel and LPO’s) according to that performance, I humbly think we’re pretty good at this. And I’m just arrogant enough to assert that I think we’ve helped make the lawyers that we work with better lawyers. They are not better lawyers because we’ve somehow made them smarter, or technically better—no—they are better because I think and hope we’ve taught them the keys to outstanding customer service. (read the post)
Keeping it Relevant – What Do I Do with My New Matter Management System Now?
Louann Barnett, Duff & Phelps
Finally, the months of planning, vendor selection, design and implementation for your new state-of-the-art matter management system are over. The excitement level is high throughout the department as you flip the switch on the new system. Finished…at last, right? Not if you want all of the money, time and energy that went into the system to pay off.
Corporations often make the mistake of pulling all of their valuable resources and attention away from the matter management system at this point so that they can focus on new projects. But if you want to keep the system relevant, you can’t stop here.
Opportunities vs. Issues (read the article)
Legal departments benefit when in-house counsel deviate from the norm
Why you shouldn’t be afraid to break the mold
Thomas Lalla, InsideCounsel
It’s human nature to develop a routine. Lawyers, particularly in-house attorneys who are more office-bound, are especially prone to following a pattern of behavior. We are creatures of habit, which may not always be beneficial.
So, it is important to “mix things up”—not just in your own practice but in your department or practice area. While there may be some initial resistance, each of us should be a catalyst for change that enhances our own legal skills and those of our attorneys and paralegals. This will challenge everyone to grow both professionally and personally. Some ideas: (read the article)
Homemade Dashboard and Chips, Anyone?
Lisa Girmscheid, Legal Project Manager, Rockwell Automation, Inc.
Let’s face it – we don’t go to the trouble of implementing an e-billing and matter management system just so we can eliminate paper bills. Dashboards, metrics, KPIs – they are the Holy Grail of our existence. Dashboards are powerful tools that can help plan, monitor, measure and report how the law department manages things like appropriate staffing ratios, trends, outside law firm performance, budgets, matters and costs.
If someone asked me to describe the concept of a dashboard, I would compare it to something tangible, like salsa made fresh from your garden. (The Dashboard/Ginsu comparison led me to this idea, so bear with me, I promise this will eventually make sense.) (read the post)