Ideas & Insights
2020 ZGuide to Leading Law Firms
Our insights about markets, trends, and emerging best practices help clients achieve market leadership.
Where Does ESG Fit in Times of Crisis?
Alex Dimitrief writes that business, legal and governance journals are replete with articles illustrating how crises reveal the true character of companies and their leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest sparked by deadly police brutality against minorities confirm that this adage holds just as true when it comes to a company’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.Read more
August 28, 2020
Virus Exposes Major Weaknesses Of Underperforming Firms
While many underperforming law firms can often squeak by with a deficient number of rainmakers who bring in clients or with unwanted attrition, these weaknesses are now more of a liability to the business as firms tighten their belts during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Kent Zimmerman sees a common thread running through these types of firms: they are either under-scaled or under-profitable relative to their competitors — or both. In addition, underperforming firms sometimes lack a big enough bench of next-generation stars and have upcoming leaders who question whether the business has the balance and resilience to compete on a long-term basis. Another similarity of these firms, Zimmermann mentions, is over-capacity — having too many people and not enough work.Read more
November 18, 2020
To RFP or Not to RFP? A Question All Firms Need to Answer
As clients look to drive down pricing, exert influence over team composition and evaluate potential new legal counsel, law firms have to ask themselves if the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to many RFPs. The reality is that RFPs are now a constant presence in the marketing and business development process. But just because something is prevalent doesn’t mean it’s always in the best interests of the firm.
Mary K. Young notes that the prevalence of RFPs in recent years has increased, and not always with good effect. Department resources are finite. Firms should be very selective even if they are not using marketing resources. Knowing which RFPs are worth engaging on and which ones should be met with a hard pass isn’t always easy.
And while RFPs are a necessary evil for law firms, Kent Zimmerman notes that many firms also have room for improvement to set priorities on which ones they invest the firm’s resources in answering based on which are more likely to lead to work that uses the firm for its strengths and commands its rate.Read more