Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson

Latest Articles

In today’s technology-driven business world, a lot of clients are worried that their outside counsel – and specifically the associate worker bees toiling on their matters — don’t possess the requisite technology savvy and skills to serve clients efficiently. In a competitive environment where clients often instruct firms not to assign first or second-year (and even third-year!) associates to their work, write-offs, write-downs, do-overs and other symptoms of poor performance are major law firm problems.…
What do impeccable client service and pornography have in common?  As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart put it nearly 50 years ago (in Jacobellis v. Ohio), “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.” I saw it this week in Chicago, in the form of my extraordinarily pleasant stay at the Trump International Hotel.  As someone whose annual travel mileage is well into six figures, I have seen a broad spectrum…
          A hot-air balloonist becomes lost in the fog and eventually descends above a pasture where a man is standing.  “Where am I?” he calls down.           “You’re in a hot-air balloon about 60 feet above the ground,” says the man.           “You must be a lawyer,” the balloonist says, “because everything you say, while technically correct, is absolutely useless.”            The man replies, “Yeah, and you must be a legal project manager — because you don’t…
Arguably the biggest change in the legal profession’s “New Normal” is the extent to which it demands and rewards collaboration to manage scale and complexity. Today’s client-driven demand for greater collaboration is leading us away from the days when rampant individualists thought that everything they did was unique but disconnected, and that every lawyer should be free to do everything in his or her own way (an autonomous mindset that has been no less evident…
Supposedly, General Counsel everywhere have gotten the memo: tough economic times demand better, more business-like management of legal departments and outside vendors. So, are you moving assertively toward becoming a sharper, better-informed manager, or do you run what respected consultant Rees Morrison calls a “passive pusillanimous law department?” In our last post we talked about management tools and techniques that can drive more productivity and efficiency into internal law department operations. But since 60% of…
  Slip ‘em some truth serum (or a few scotches), and most General Counsel will tell you their jobs are getting tougher in today’s global economy. For decades it was enough to be a knowledgeable lawyer with superb legal judgment.  Today, however, top management requires them to be both great lawyers and savvy members of the executive team. They must be an instrumental contributor to their company’s strategies and operations, and they also must manage…
Heretofore, the burgeoning worldwide Legal Project Management (LPM) trend has shown what you see when the buyer turns up the heat.  It’s safe to say that if more and more clients were not demanding legal services that are on time, on budget, efficiently managed and predictably rendered, we’d still be back in the “good old days.”  You know — those happy times when law firms defined the rules of engagement, communicated progress whenever and however…
Whether you are planning to climb Mt. McKinley or to provide well-managed legal services to a key client, assaying the possible and probable changes to your plan is key to success. Recent headlines in Alaska told a tragic story about four climbers on Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America.  Because the weather had been predicted to be quite good, the climbers chose to leave a lot of heavy equipment behind, e.g., snow shovels,…
It’s no secret – and no surprise – that in today’s competitive and cost-constrained legal landscape the Almighty Dollar has taken center stage: clients are increasingly fixated on tightened budgets and efficient service delivery. It’s also clear that discussing the dollars is something a lot of lawyers prefer to avoid. We recently led a Legal Project Management (LPM) workshop that included both law firm partners and representatives of one of their biggest clients, a financial services…
We’re seeing huge increases in the number of RFPs corporate legal departments are issuing to try to get the best law firms, lawyers and service. But we’re not seeing huge increases in the quality or effectiveness of those RFPs. To flip the old phrase on its head, a lot of RFPs are garbage out, garbage in. If your RFPs are to distinguish the wheat from the chaff, you in-house folks have to do a lot…