Managing Law Firm Transition

Thoughts on Leading High Consequence Change

Latest from Managing Law Firm Transition - Page 2

“If you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will hop right out. But if you put that frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly warm it, the frog doesn’t figure out what is going on until it’s too late…” Stephenie Meyer   Much like the boiling frog, if a law firm’s partners don’t recognize that the water is heating up — and not in a good way — they…
Covid-19 has impacted virtually all law firms.  A few firms have benefitted, some have suffered catastrophe, while the bulk of firms fall somewhere in the middle and forge ahead as best they can. Whether leadership for this third group is plugging a leaky dike or simply boosting morale, the focus on short-term survival is a common concern.  As scary as present circumstances may seem, however, Covid-19’s impact will continue throughout the rest of 2020.  Fortunately,…
Three points in a law firm’s development will demonstrate the degree to which law firm owners share common values and aspirations: when the compensation system is under scrutiny, when it is time to commit to a new lease, and in an hour of crisis. Typically, when a firm is formed, two, three or maybe a handful of individuals gravitate to one another, and realize they share some combination of values, dreams, and aspirations, and decide…
Regardless of degree, Covid-19’s impact on law firms is near universal.  Some firms have been impacted so severely that crisis is their reality.  Confronted with a do or die situation, strong leadership fights to bring back normalcy.  Failure can mean disaster. Leaders used to positive law firm performance can find themselves uncertain about their new role. In the face of uncertainty, focused leadership takes the typical steps of receivable management, cost-cutting, personnel decisions, and morale…
The economic turmoil driven by the coronavirus has impacted virtually every law firm — some more significantly than others. Unfortunately, the pain has only begun for many. The demand for many transaction related practices is likely to be off for an extended period, and though most expect demand for litigation services to be steady, the ability of the court system to support the pre-virus level of activity is questionable. In addition, funding litigation may prove…
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on businesses world-wide. Law firms have been no exception. A relative handful of firms are enjoying an increase in demand for their services. For these firms, primary challenges relate to maintaining a safe work environment. For many firms, however, the business disruption includes a decline in work to an unknown degree for an unknown duration. Many of those firms find themselves in crisis. At a time when…
Covid-19’s harmful impact on some law firms shows in reduced client demand, delayed or reduced receivable realization, and production inefficiency.  While those consequences may be understandable in light of the pandemic, third parties that expect fulfillment of promises and obligations may not be totally sympathetic.  Some grace may be extended, but it is neither assured nor certain to be long-lasting.  If the firm’s struggles are not remedied quickly, a firm can find itself in serious…
As law firms (and businesses generally) confront the growing financial challenges associated with the Covid-19 crisis, a plan for an escalating response is necessary. The appropriate answer for a particular law firm will depend on its current and projected condition and its culture, but consider the following as you develop your plan. Government assistance – If you haven’t already, consider one of the assistance programs available through the federal government, including the SBA. Banker…
Covid-19 and its implications for law firm stability is being experienced industry-wide.  The fallout has many firms in full-on crisis.  Reduced draws, layoffs or furloughs, expense reduction, stimulus loans have become an all too common part of the survival mix.  Resorting to these tools can help little if strong leadership fails to rise to the challenge. Law firms are people centric organizations that rely on attorney performance and loyalty to succeed.  Keeping a firm’s people…
During periods of crisis and economic uncertainty, the old saying “cash is king” is the appropriate mantra for most businesses. Maintaining the liquidity necessary to stay in business is now job #1 for law firm leaders. To say that the economic fallout associated with Covid-19 is causing a decrease in cash inflow is an enormous understatement. In some cases, it is due to a fall-off in client/customer demand; in others it is driven by client…