Succession Planning: The Problem and a RoadMap

07.11.18 | Susan Duncan

Eight adults per minute turn sixty-five and by 2020, 20% of the workforce will be 65 or older.  In law firms, the problem is exacerbated as senior rainmakers aged 60 or older often control 50% or more of the client base and key relationships, and often serve in key leadership positions.  According to studies conducted…

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Lawyers Should be Great at Consultative and Insight Selling

06.27.18 | Susan Duncan

When lawyers first started exploring the uncomfortable process of “selling” as early as the 1980s not long after the 1977 Bates decision allowing lawyers to advertise, it was uncomfortable and seen as unseemly even sleazy. Over the decades, consultants have adapted sales approaches shifting from the traditional model into consultative selling. This approach has proven effective…

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A Race to the Bottom for the AmLaw 200 and Below? Doesn’t Have to Be.

06.14.18 | Susan Duncan

A month ago, at a conference on change management, a managing partner of an AmLaw 200 firm asked a question that likely weighs on the minds of most AmLaw 200 managing partners, some of the AmLaw 100 firms and many of those below the top 200. His question was: We hear all the time that…

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Make This the Year You Take Control of Your Time!

01.10.18 | Susan Duncan

A lot of lawyers are extremely challenged about operating in crisis mode and ending many days feeling they were not productive because they were side-tracked into unanticipated interactions, tasks and requests.  Being organized and able to prioritize is something some people seem naturally to do better than others, but actually are skills that can be learned…

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Women: Communicate So You are Heard

12.06.17 | Susan Duncan

All of the research on gender bias and communications indicates that there are significant differences in the way men and women communicate. Men often are direct, women indirect.  For men, communication helps achieve a goal, provides an answer; for women, it is more of a process, they want to tell a story and make a…

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Law Firm MDPs Part 4: Service Delivery Solutions

11.15.17 | Susan Duncan

In this fourth and final post on law firm multi-disciplinary models, we discuss new tools and resources, many of which incorporate technology, process improvement and knowledge management to enable more effective service delivery and enhanced and automated access to information.  Law firms have either developed their own tools and products or incorporated existing technologies into…

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Law Firm MDPs Part 3 – Integrated Multi-Disciplinary Practices

11.01.17 | Susan Duncan

Recognizing the need to approach client problems and needs with broader and deeper substantive disciplines than just legal expertise, law firms have evolved their service offerings to include formal, integrated teams of lawyers, consultants and other professional experts. As early as the 1980s, law firms began to form separate subsidiaries  affiliations and joint ventures to…

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Law Firm MDPs and New Delivery Models Part 2 – Subsidiaries

10.18.17 | Susan Duncan

In an effort to offer existing and new clients fuller capabilities and solutions, many law firms have developed wholly-owned subsidiaries often comprised of experts in an industry or service specialty who are not lawyers. As we reviewed in our last post, Law Firm MDPs and New Delivery Models Part 1 – A Primer, clients today…

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Law Firm MDPs and New Delivery Models Part 1 – A Primer

10.04.17 | Susan Duncan

In our post Who Do Law Firms Compete with and Why? we described the fierce competition that law firms face today, noting that much of that competition is increasingly  coming from non-law firm legal services providers, consulting firms and the Big 4, which have some of the largest law firms in the world outside the…

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Women’s Success Strategies for Advancement

09.20.17 | Susan Duncan

Despite the progress women have achieved in general and in law firms, many women continue to express frustration about how to compete and be successful as they climb the career ladder.   Enlightened firms have tried to tackle unconscious bias through mandatory training and intentionally putting more women in management positions. Some clients have gone…

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Industry Group Strategy Part 2: How to Execute IGs Effectively

09.06.17 | Susan Duncan

In our prior post, Industry Group Strategy Part 1 – What are They and Why Have IGs? we clarified the difference between sectors and industries and discussed the benefits and goals of having them.  In law firms, Industry Groups, like client teams, straddle multiple practice groups and lawyers may be members of several practice groups…

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Industry Group Strategy Part 1 – What are They and Why Have IGs?

08.16.17 | Susan Duncan

Many law firms have formed industry groups, but are they defining and managing them correctly and effectively? In many cases, no.  In some instances, firms are not even using the correct nomenclature. In others, they list so many industry groups on their web sites that it is clear this is more of a marketing tactic…

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10 Ways to Make Personal Marketing and Business Development Habitual and Effective

07.26.17 | Susan Duncan

Ask the most successful rainmakers what their secret is to their success and most will tell you that they work on it constantly and relentlessly.  It has become integral to their client work and practice and they do it every day.  Given the pressure lawyers feel to record billable hours, it may seem almost impossible…

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Your Personal Brand: (Re)Define It, Burnish It and Manage It

07.12.17 | Susan Duncan

Everyone has a personal brand and it often plays a critical role in professional success, advancement and business development.  Similar to a business’ brand, your brand is a promise of what others will receive from you, what you will be known for and how people react to your personality and approach.  Whether or not you actively…

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Feedback + Communication = Employee Engagement

06.21.17 | Susan Duncan

Our last article The Millennial Generation in Law Firms – How to Attract and Retain Gen Ys focused on several aspects of the workplace that appeal to millennials and must be present in order for your firm to avoid the common turnover so prevalent in this generation. According to a Clutch HR survey, 40% of…

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