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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hidden malpractice traps within law firms

There was a nice piece in Lawyers Weekly (article's not on the cite) by Nancy B. Jones regarding hidden malpractice within law firms. She discusses a number of points beyond the obvious things like missed deadlines, conflicts of interest, poor client relations, ect.

Some highlights:

1. Sloppy leadership. Are lawyers bad at leadership? Or, is it simply a time issue. I remember a law school professor who'd always say how bad of managers lawyers are. See I think I'm personally a good leader (unbiased too), but I think this point is generally right on from my previous firm experience.

2. Ineffective daily management. She mentions that many law firms fail to even fill the role of legal administrator. We don't have that role at our firm. She sees this person as a non-lawyer with authority who is in charge of day-to-day management.

3. Greed. Are you carrying TOO MANY cases?

4. A firm in name only. Do you share the costs and liabilities of partners, but otherwise operate as individual practices that just happen to be under the same roof? I see this one a lot.

5. No accountability. What does this mean in your firm? Are there clear job descriptions for each position?

6. Poorly balanced lives.


At 9:10 AM, Blogger RJon@HowToMakeItRain.com said...

These are all EXCELLENT points & I'll be glad to step aside on the proverbial soap box for awhile to let Nancy take-up the cause.

It always amazes me when a lawyer tells his/her clients what a BAD IDEA it would be to try & represent themselves in a case or transaction because the client doesn't have any formal training. But then turns right around and TRIES TO RUN THE BUSINESS OF A LAW FIRM WITHOUT ANY FORMAL TRAINING EITHER!?!

Most of the thousands of lawyers I have worked with to help them with law firm marketing & management issues, have never taken a single class on business management or marketing, or even basic bookeeping! And they wonder. . .

- HOW I can so easily show them how to catch-up with the less experienced (and arguably less talented) practitioners out there who are getting "ALL THE BEST CASES?"

- WHY they never bothered to learn about law firm marketing & management so they can GET HOME FOR DINNER MOST NIGHTS instead of fumbling around with their inefficiencies.

- WHAT STOPPED THEM from learning sooner, the Rainmaking secrets of lawyers with seemingly no better technical skills, but who are MAKING TONS OF MONEY while they scrape-by year-after-year?

Apologies for the crass commercial message to follow...but the fact of the matter is that there ARE some GREAT RESOURCES AVAILABLE to any lawyer who is sick & tired of being sick & tired and FINALLY READY TO HAVE A SMALL LAW FIRM THAT PROVIDES FOR YOUR NEEDS without taking a pound of flesh in return.

I'll leave it to the reader to guess where you can find some of these resources, which YOU CAN EVEN LISTEN TO IN YOUR CAR, instead of having to attend a class or read a thick book in all your "free time" ;-)

Helping Lawyers In Small Firms Make ALOT More Money


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