Compensation

Letter from Near and Far

Gentle Reader: Apologies for not having published more frequently over the past couple of weeks but business has taken us to Paris, the south of France, London, Portland, and Seattle–with 48 hours in New York inbetween the European and the Pacific Northwest trips. We met with firms ranging from the Magic and Silver Circle to US-based
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Do You Love What You Do? Really?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about leadership—something of a first here at Adam Smith, Esq., at least calling it out explicitly by that name—and the topic deserves revisiting and elaboration. My article took off from an HBR piece, Why You Lead Determines How Well You Lead, but it in turn relied on research
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

The Elite Face-Off: NY vs. London

A famous former (and now late)  leader of the US House of Representatives, the classic Boston pol Tip O’Neill, supposedly remarked that “all politics is local.”  To that I would add MacEwen’s corollary, that “all rivalries are local.” In many ways, the leading candidate for most intense local rivalry in BigLaw is between London’s four
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Delusions of Crowds

When a large number of smart, accomplished, ambitious people seem to be behaving in a way that makes no rational sense, there has to be an irrational explanation. I’ve written and spoken before about my overall attitude towards aggressive lateral partner recruitment. As Calvin Coolidge reportedly said, leaving church and asked by a reporter what
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting, Strategy

A Call to Arms: III

The first installment in this series presented the background and basic ramifications of the proposal now pending in Congress to require law firms and other professional service firms with annual revenue over $10-million to adopt the accrual accounting basis and not the cash basis. The second installment outlined the financial repercussions in dollars and cents,
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Globalization, Strategy

Give Credit Where Credit’s Due

Or, recognizing successful client relationship management. [This is another in our series by Janet Stanton, Partner, Adam Smith, Esq.] Winning a new client for the firm—there’s little that can match that for excitement, sense of accomplishment and visible contribution to the firm.  More so if the client is big or prestigious.  A pitch is often
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Marketing

See Talent. Liberate it.

It’s been viewed online nearly 7 million times. Sheryl Sandberg calls it one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley. And it was created by the company whose stock increased in 2013 more than any other’s in the S&P 500—up nearly 350%. “It” is a 126-slide PowerPoint called “Netflix Culture:
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting

Compensation Design

Come one, come all! Right here in New York: On Thursday, January 30th From 9:00 am to 4:00 pm At the AMA Executive Conference Center (48th & Broadway) I’ll be delivering the keynote address and participating in a day-long conference on Compensation Design for Law Firms. Among my fellow speakers and panelists will be: William
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About the Site, Articles, Compensation

See Talent. Feed It.

Turnabout. I recently wrote about how to demoralize, discourage, and disenchant top talent. This is about how to retain that talent. Like the prior column, this one is based on one of the top columns of the year from Strategy + Business, the Booz & Co. publication: “Retaining Top Talent: Yes, It Really Is All
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Articles, Compensation, Leadership, Recruiting

More Equity Partner Cuts to Come?

The always intrepid Lee Pacchia of Bloomberg Law invited me to come by and talk about the quarterly reports on the State of BigLaw just released by Citi Private Bank and Wells Fargo’s law group. We also got off on the topic of whether lawyers can really be “entrepreneurial,” and what I fear may be
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Articles, Compensation, Finance, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy