Cultural Considerations

Checkbook Recruiting

From the Kirkland & Ellis site, under the topic Careers–>Laterals Overview (I quote in full, emphasis supplied): At Kirkland, the quality and experience of our lawyers are among our greatest strengths. We are committed to making a substantial investment in our lateral hires by fostering an environment in which they are seamlessly integrated into our
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Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Recruiting, Strategy

Watson: Boring or Terrifying?

Nearly four years have passed since IBM’s Watson beat two human beings at Jeopardy, and not just any two human beings: Ken Jennings, record-holder for longest winning streak (74 appearances) and Brad Rudder, largest single money-winner ($3.25-million). As I’ve noted before, IBM moved with alacrity to begin commercializing the Watson technology and now the Wharton
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Technology strategy

Money or Culture?

Circling in the wings around almost any discussion of management and leadership issues in law firms, sometimes touted as a virtue above all others and sometimes only alluded to with caution, as one would might a wraith, is the issue of a firm’s “culture.” A few observations about culture in Law Land: Firms and their
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Living in Liminal Times

“lim•in•al” (1) of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process; (2) occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. From the Latin limen/liminis: threshold, doorway. You may not have thought of it this way, but we are living in liminal times. The word and the concept
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

Partners Behaving Badly

The other day we were in a meeting with the head of strategy and marketing and the Chair of an AmLaw 100, and the Chair mentioned an extremely promising introductory meeting he’d had a few days earlier with the General Counsel of a well-recognized company. Although the GC and the Chair had never met, the company already
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Articles, Client Relationships, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Strategy

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

Bingham/Morgan-Lewis

Whether or not the bruited Bingham/Morgan-Lewis merger is consummated, Bingham as we know it is beginning to cease to exist. While I have no inside information and am not professionally involved in the recent developments, inquiring minds have to ask what has happened and why, and if there are any lessons for the rest of
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance

How Not To Lead

Lately you’ve seen a few columns here on the topic of leadership: Namely, how to do it well. Invoking the equal time rule, today I want to talk about failed, misguided, and destructive leadership, using two examples from very different walks of life. The first, a CEO of a Fortune 50 firm, is a matter
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management

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