Bruce “Adam Smith, Esq.” MacEwen has published the results of his first “Savvy Blawgers” panel challenge, which asked some of the great and the good of the blawg world, such as : Joy London, Dennis Kennedy, and Ernie ‘the Attorney’ Svenson the question:
“Looking out five to ten years, what will the single most significant change be in terms of how sophisticated law firms (think AmLaw 200) are managed, on the ‘business side’?”
This is a MUST read.
Just a flavour of some of the great opinions voiced include:
Monica Bay – in a view that will please my current employers, and an approach favoured by non-US firms – says “In a nutshell, the profession is changing from a private club to a corporate model, from “Eat What You Kill” to collaboration…any firm that doesn’t pay attention will end up as roadkill.”
Craig Williams with his sensible opinion that if law firms want to be run as businesses, then they need businessmen not lawyers to run them: ” The much-publicized failure of Brobeck has created the understanding that law firms can no longer be managed by lawyers; they must be managed by business people”.
Denise Howell thinks technology is the key: “Technology will only continue to improve and grow firms more if they are interested in using technology. Improved management of a firm results in improved client relations, profitability and positive growth … Technology, used effectively, gives managers power because they can track, measure and manage their growth, staff, client base, and more. The present and future possibilities are endless.”
Prof. William Henderson gets right to the heart of the matter and what law firms really care about – profits per partner (PPP). ” However, PPP has become the dominant variable for ranking law firm success. How those profits are generated is becoming less important …” He sees a more flexible appraoch to biling and charges appearing with law firms sharing the risk of their clients “through discounted fees with performance kickers” Firms that play this game well, he argues, will be in high demand and very profitable.