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

The UK’s LSA in the US?

A few weeks ago, an editor at the Oxford University Press site, “Academic Insights for the Thinking World,” was kind enough to write me and ask if I might care to submit an essay for their site.  Yes, I’d be delighted, was my response; what about?  “Up to you – within reason, of course.” “Understand,”
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Globalization, 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

Innovate? Who, me?

Legal Business recently ran a piece on leadership in law firms which—surprisingly for articles on this topic—actually succeeded in getting beyond bromidic pablum. I commend it to you in its entirety, but meanwhile I want to talk about a particular perspective they called out for special attention, “innovation:” Law firm clients clearly want to see
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Articles, Marketing, Strategy

In Chicago Thursday 20 November

Will you be in Chicago Thursday, November 20 at 6:00 pm? If so, you must come to what promises to be an engaging discussion about the rapidly evolving market dynamics of Law Land. Panelists will include: It will be at The Standard Club, 320 South Plymouth Court. From the description of the event: Join preeminent
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About the Site, Articles, Book Reviews, Strategy

2014 Nobel in Economics

Around this time of year the Nobel Prize in Economics is awarded, and while we don’t always cover it here on Adam Smith, Esq., this year’s is worth a note. As everyone who cares about these things an iota knows by now, the winner was Jean Tirole of Toulouse University in France, for his work
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Articles, Just Plain Interesting, 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

“Seamless”?

A few weeks ago reports surfaced about a motion seeking to compel Norton Rose Fulbright to withdraw from representation of its client Duke University in a case brought against the university by the estate of John Wayne, which wants the right to market alcoholic beverages branded with Wayne’s “Duke” nickname—a textbook trademark dispute. The Wayne
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Articles, Branding, Business Models, Client Relationships, Leadership, M&A, Marketing, Partnership Structures, 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

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