Leadership

Change is neither good nor bad: It is

With this, his inaugural column, it is my great pleasure to introduce to our readers and clients Doug Caddell, who is formally joining Adam Smith, Esq. as a senior advisor (see the About Us page for more on Doug’s distinguished background). Doug brings over three decades of experience in strategy-focused technology leadership in our industry
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Articles, IT, Knowledge Management, Leadership, Strategy

The Age of Anxiety

We’re just back from a week in London—coincidentally smack in the middle of the UK firms’ earnings-release season—and for reasons far more profound than that annual roll call of bragging rights, the level of preoccupation with the future in the great City has never to us seemed higher to us. A telling, and extremely representative,
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

“Disruption:” Barbarians at the Gates?

Lots of loose language has been tossed about lately on the topic of “disruption,” and it may be time for a bit of perspective. McKinsey, never late to a trend, published Strategic principles for competing in the digital age a few weeks ago, noting that “Digitization is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent companies
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Strategy

The Hollow Middle Since 2008

I call it the Hollow Middle, but Knowledge@Wharton prefers “Disappearing Middle.” Here’s what, writing in their pages, the CEO of the Cambridge Group, identified as “a growth strategy consulting firm that is part of Nielsen,” has to say about it: The Great Recession forced consumers to drastically rethink their purchase behaviors and, even though many
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Articles, Branding, Client Relationships, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

The 5:1 Male/Female Partner Ratio

For those of you who may have missed it, we refer you forthwith to Brian Dalton’s latest column on Above The Law, “Is There a Business Case for More Female BigLaw Partners?” Anyone with a scintilla of conscience can only look at the information presented there with some combination of shame and dismay—if not despair.
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Recruiting, Strategy

What Does The AmLaw Second Hundred Tell Us?

Brief thoughts prompted by the release a few days ago of the AmLaw Second Hundred. These are firms ##101—200 in the AmLaw ranking, and by and large they’re regional shops based in secondary metropolitan areas, or small shops in primary cities, or specialists. First a few headline numbers just to set the stage: For these
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

Our New Book: A Taxonomy of Firms

Many of you have read or know of our first book, Growth Is Dead: Now What? Law firms on the brink, published early in 2013. We now have a sequel of sorts, just published this week: A New Taxonomy: The seven law firm business models. “A sequel of sorts” in the sense that the Now
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Strategy

Our Battle for Market Share

It has become bromidic to observe that we’ve moved from a linear growth market, ever up and to the right, to one of flat demand (did someone say, “growth is dead?”). We are, in short, in a battle for market share. Welcome to the rest of the economy. That’s the bad news and the good
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Mid-Size

I was at a conference of “Canadian Law Firm Leaders” outside Toronto earlier this week, and one of the highlights of the event, to my mind, was a talk by a representative of PeerMonitor, ThomsonReuters’ data analytics arm, which compared the recent performance of AmLaw first hundred, AmLaw second hundred, and so-called “mid-size” firms (their
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

An Apprenticeship to Practice–That Works

I recently wrote about the depressing prospects for graduates of all but the top ten or twenty law schools (Two Law Grad Markets). And yes, these were statistical generalizations, and the experience of specific individuals with particular skills and backgrounds will always be different, pro and con. But as an industry, if you care about
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Articles, Business Models, Law Schools, Leadership, Recruiting, Strategy