Thursday, July 09, 2009

Lack of Self-Promotion Hurts Women in Large Firms

An interesting article from the AM Law Daily which offers some sensible advice to women wishing to further their legal careers and proposes changes to a system that has held so many women back in law firms. Bottom line: opportunity is calling more women in the profession to take on more leadership roles.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Study: Law Firms Have "Little or No Interest in Change," CLOs Say

An interesting debate unfolds on the AM Daily website today regarding the results of a survey carried out by Altman Weil that found that law firms 'aren't exactly embracing the forces of change that many claim are sweeping the legal industry'. What is even more interesting are the excellent comments posted by Patrick McKenna regarding the attitude of some CLOs towards change themselves. Well worth a read, particularly on the day when Clifford Chance's are down 37%!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Firm of the Future Conference

After hosting the Future Firm Forum in Ohakune the last two years, it is good to see the theme is catching on overseas.
On 23-24 October, The Law Firm of the Future conference will take place in San Diego, California. The conference has a stellar line up of speakers including Ron Baker and Chris Marston.
If you are in the area, then do yourself a favour and attend this conference. It'll be unlike any other you have attended (except, of course, the Future Firm Forum!!!).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Do downunder firms care enough about the environment?

Recently, I learned first-hand about the progress of the UK-based Legal Sector Alliance, an inclusive movement of law firms and organisations committed to working collaboratively to take action on climate change by reducing their carbon footprints and adopting environmentally sustainable practices. Created in October 2007, it now boasts over 90 member firms who are committed to taking action on its principles.
Seeing as there appears to be no similar organization 'downunder' I recently did a snap-shot survey of my subscribers to assess their commitment to acting on climate change. Although a small sample, the results suggest that firms downunder are lagging behind their UK counterparts. Over 80% of respondents were from Australia and New Zealand).

69% of respondents consider their firm has a responsibility to measure, manage and reduce carbon emissions.
44% of respondents are taking steps to reduce carbon emissions.
Only 2% of respondents are actively seeking an accreditation such as the UK's ISO14001 or the US' B corporation status.

Those who stated they are taking steps to reduce carbon emissions voted the following as their top 5 initiatives:

Turning lights off (89%)
Recycling (84%)
Reducing paper production (73%)
Turning off computers when not in use (68%)
Using environmentally friendly products (52%)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For the next 48 hours Paula Black will be offering an impressive opportunity to anyone who purchases “The Little Black Book: A Lawyer’s Guide To Creating A Marketing Habit in 21 Days.” Readers who purchase the book will receive “The Smart Lawyer’s Toolkit,” a compilation of advice from more than 30 of the most sought-after experts in the legal arena (including myself!). Click here for details.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Business of Law now available

The Business of Law 2009, authored by Ron Pol and Ashley Balls, with contributions from David Maister and Professor Stephen Mayson, provides an in-depth analysis of the trends affecting the legal sector in New Zealand. I believe this report will not only provoke debate about the shape and future of the legal industry in New Zealand, but also stimulate better business practice in the legal profession generally. This is a 'must read' for anyone operating in the legal sector in New Zealand. To order your copy, click here.

Time to innovate

These are exciting times, for lawyers and law firms. Yes, exciting. Perhaps not the first word that comes to mind for many managing partners at the moment, given the downturn in business and the consequential squeeze on law firm profits. Yet I do believe that this slowdown is a blessing in disguise for many firms of all sizes and in all locations, providing them with the impetus and the incentive to really think differently about their businesses and to make lasting changes so that they can emerge from this downturn stronger, leaner and more effective than before...(Read more here).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Susan Boyle Can Teach Us

The meteoric 'success' of Susan Boyle, the Scottish 47 year old spinster who was 'discovered' on talent show, 'Britain's Got Talent' last week is a heartwarming story indeed. From anonymity to global media sensation in just 5 days.

For me anyway, the episode teaches us three lessons:
1. Talent is right under your nose if you go looking for it;
2. You may be surprised by who has the talent;
3. The internet has the power to change things overnight; Susan's clip has had 25 million hits on You Tube in just a week!

Congratulations Susan on breaking the stereotypical mould.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What Managing Partners Can Learn From President Obama

President Obama’s inaugural address has been applauded around the world. And, I believe, deservedly so. As I studied the words of the speech, it struck me that not only did the speech capture the mood of the United States and world generally; it also captured the mood of the legal profession too. This could easily have been an address from a visionary Managing Partner to his colleagues upon his election.

Similar themes: ‘in the midst of a crisis’, ‘a sapping of confidence’, ‘an inevitable decline’ and ‘a future generation that must lower its sights’. While recognising these challenges, President Obama went on to offer hope pointing out that previous challenges in history were overcome by the ‘risk-takers, the doers and the makers of things.’ In outlining his ambitious plans for his presidency, he acknowledged that there were ‘some who question the scale of our ambitions....what cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them ..that stale arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.’ Sound familiar?

If President Obama were a Managing Partner, his call to action might also be very similar (allowing for one or two word changes): ‘What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility, - a recognition, on the part of every lawyer, that we have duties to ourselves, to the firm and to our clients, duties that we would not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and promise of partnership.”

Managing Partners take note.