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Management Consulting, Article

March 31, 2021

Law Firms Likely to Continue Quietly Trimming Employee Rosters

Staff roles, and perhaps some underproductive partners, will be scrutinized as firms consider their new normal.   Even as many firms found themselves busy with legal work amid the pandemic, several acknowledged significant layoffs, driven by outsourcing and other changes within the foundation of the law firm business model.  Mary K Young observes that people are getting by without a legal assistant, or what used to be called secretaries, outside their door. They don’t need them as much, and they don’t need receptionists.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | News Mentions | Mary K Young | Law.com

March 29, 2021

How a Good Year Can Trip Up Firms Down the Road

Complacency and the assumption that what is working now will always work can put a darker tint on a successful financial year for law firms.  What worked last year isn’t guaranteed to work this year, and relying on that principle could in fact have a detrimental effect on success down the road.  Mary K. Young observes that a small number of firms tend to move forward in a halting fashion, taking two steps forward and then one step back. But she believes that most firms recognize that being static after success isn’t the way to replicate it moving forward.  It isn’t so much that firms have a great year and then rest on their laurels. The firm could have had a major litigation matter settle and have comparatively lower numbers the next year.

Branding, Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | News Mentions | Mary K Young | Law.com

March 25, 2021

How Goodwin’s Big Bet on Tech ‘Convergence’ Pushed Up Revenue

Goodwin Procter has seen its top line roughly double from $678 million to $1.5 billion over the last 10 years, thanks in large part to a playbook that focuses on the intersection of technology and capital.  The firm developed a “convergence strategy” roughly a decade ago in the wake of the global financial crisis that sought to capture work from the technological expansion happening across industries.  Kent Zimmerman observes that many firms see an opportunity to not just focus on serving pure tech companies, but instead serving companies across industries whose businesses are evolving from tech-driven innovation.  Some firms realize that the credible market position to take is to be a leader in certain sectors.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | News Mentions | Kent Zimmermann | Bloomberg Law

March 2, 2021

The Outperformers: What Sets Big Law’s Most Successful Firms Apart

Kent Zimmermann and Peter Zeughauser review how, in a difficult year, a subset of firms separated from the rest of the market with double-digit revenue and profits growth.  Standout firms are growing faster than their peers by focusing on profitability and reaping the rewards. For 2020’s most successful firms, the year offered valuable insights into the future of their workplaces, their talent and their overall trajectory.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | Publications and Articles | Peter Zeughauser, Kent Zimmermann | The American Lawyer

February 23, 2021

Billing Can Be So Much More Than a Necessary Evil

In this article, Alex Dimitreif discusses important billing principles and the need for detailed budgets.  Law firms can no longer afford to view billing and budgeting as necessary evils or relegate them to backroom administrators. Outside counsel should seize upon the billing process as a vehicle for thoughtful discussions with clients about how assignments will be handled. Up-front exchanges about how much a matter will cost should facilitate dialogue on a client’s objectives and how best to achieve them. Interim bills should serve as informative status reports and alert clients to potential issues. Final bills should stimulate candid discussions about how the law firm performed and whether the client’s expectations were met.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | Publications and Articles | Alex Dimitrief | ALM Intelligence Fellows

December 7, 2020

Large Law Firms Learned to Go Lean This Year—but Staying That Way Won't Be Easy

It only took being blindsided by a global pandemic to finally impress upon Big Law the importance of trimming the fat. The sudden onset of the pandemic forced law firms to quickly make cuts they otherwise wouldn’t have dreamed of. Many of those measures now seem like they were long overdue.  But the real challenge now is figuring out how to keep the weight off.  Bruce McLean notes that the caution that prevailed when the pandemic first struck is prevailing for 2021.  People believe the economic situation will be quite similar.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | News Mentions | R. Bruce McLean | Law.com

October 26, 2020

2020 Is a Year of Discounts as Law Firms Prioritize Cash Flow

Collecting on legal bills during the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy, but fueled by a desire to fill their coffers with cash, many firms are willing to give discounts in exchange for quick payment this year. Mary K. Young observes that law firms are often providing temporary discounts or allowing slower payments in order to maintain strong ties. For important, strategic clients, it’s necessary for the relationship partner to have conversations with clients about their cash flow. And It could be another six months, or it could be 2022, before rates and billing arrangements return to normal.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | News Mentions | Mary K Young | law.com

October 21, 2020

Fastest Growing Law Firm Management Strategies

At the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, Mary K Young will moderate a panel discussion focusing on management strategies employed by some the of fastest growing law firms. 

This interactive session will highlight three successful firms and the strategies they employ to deliver results that outperform most other firms even when faced with extraordinary challenges.  The panelists will discuss:

  • Techniques these firms use to drive revenue per lawyer (RPL) growth
  • The strategies, methods, and approaches that differentiate these firms from others, particularly in light of the current downturn
  • The role these leaders play in driving strategies that work and how they create buy-in with internal stakeholders to execute their firms’ strategies
  • Advice and tips these trailblazers would offer to their LMA peers who are looking to do the same within their firms

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

October 21, 2020

For more information or to register for the conference, visit LMA Annual Conference.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | Speaking Engagements | Mary K Young | Legal Marketing Association

September 2020

2020 ZGuide to Leading Law Firms

Zeughauser Group's 2020 Pocket Guide to the American Lawyer Rankings of the Am Law 200 by Profits Per Equity Partner and by Value Per Lawyer; The A-List; The Global 100; The Global 200; The China 45; The Asia 50; and The Corporate Scorecard.

You can download the ZGuide here.

If you would like a hard copy of the 2020 ZGuide, please send an email to zgadmin@consultzg.com with "2020 ZGuide Request" in the subject line and provide your mailing address.

Branding, Client Service Interviews, Leadership Development, Management Consulting, Marketing Organization Design, Marketing Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategic Planning | Publications and Articles

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.

Management Consulting, Strategic Planning | News Mentions | Kent Zimmermann | Law 360