Don’t Quarantine Your Business/Practice Development Strategy!

04.02.20 | Susan Duncan

Please contact us at sduncan@rainmakingoasis.com if you or your practice group is interested in reviewing or recharging your personal business development or practice group plan. This is a good time to assess and modify your strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a major impediment for lawyers who were actively engaged in a personal or practice…

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Let Us Help You Reach Your New Year’s Goals

01.08.20 | Susan Duncan

Happy New Year! While most reports from Q4 indicate that 2019 was a robust year for law firms, others are cautioning that we are still due for a slowdown in 2020.  Now is the time to hone your growth strategies, safely secure your clients and your own talent, and proactively manage into the future.  We…

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Smart Growth Part 5: Lateral Partner Onboarding and Integration

10.30.19 | Susan Duncan

Our last post, Smart Growth Part 4: Lateral Partner Hiring discussed the statistics of lateral recruiting, the level of activity, the failure rates and the cost of failures. Improving your process by aligning strategy to hiring, laying out the business case and criteria for lateral hires and comprehensively vetting candidates will go a long way…

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Smart Growth Part 4: Lateral Partner Hiring

10.16.19 | Susan Duncan

As we discussed in Smart Growth Part 1, hiring lateral partners or small groups of partners and associates provides law firms with short and long-term opportunities to add partners with strong client relationships and portable books of business to shore up their revenue numbers.   Whether adding well-known and positioned rainmakers to a practice or industry…

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Smart Growth Part 1: The Why and How of Growth

09.04.19 | Susan Duncan

As we enter the fourth quarter of the year, it is an important time to be thinking about your firm’s growth strategy for the future. Law firms, like any other business, must grow and adapt to stay relevant and viable. The last ten years of disruption have increased (1) competition from other law firms, clients’…

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Innovation Case Study 1: Levenfeld Pearlstein

07.10.19 | Susan Duncan

Levenfeld Pearlstein is a 75-lawyer firm in Chicago. Its innovative CEO, Angie Hickey, recently shared her insights at the P3 Conference about how the firm has adopted a corporate style Customer Experience culture that sets it apart.  Their client focus permeates everything the firm does both internally and externally. The firm was founded in 1999…

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Practice Groups Part 4: Practice Group Leader as Talent Manager and Coach

01.09.19 | Susan Duncan

Perhaps one of the most challenging responsibilities for today’s practice group leaders is the “people” side of the business. In our prior two posts, we have discussed the Practice Group Leader as Strategist and the Practice Group Leader as Financial Steward. While PGLs often get help from others managing the associates and staff in the…

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Practice Groups Part 2: Practice Group Leader as Strategist

11.28.18 | Susan Duncan

It is surprising how many law firms, their leaders and partners eschew the discipline of planning and strategy. Many firms still don’t require annual plans or even the process of planning from their partners, or practice groups and many don’t even have a strategic plan for the firm. A survey conducted by Patrick McKenna and David…

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Practice Groups Part 1: The Framework and Leadership Role

11.07.18 | Susan Duncan

Most law firms have implemented a  practice group structure. Even those firms that retain the traditional, larger umbrella department structure (for example, corporate/transactional, litigation/disputes, regulatory,) most break down the management of the practice into smaller strategic business units that are used to: Organize lawyers and manage talent with specific skills and specialties Develop, execute and monitor…

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Change Management 2: Strong Leadership and Collaboration are Required to Drive Change

10.24.18 | Susan Duncan

Making meaningful and sustainable change will require collaboration and strong leadership. As discussed in Change Management Part 1, effectuating change in law firms is more difficult than other professions and industries and managing partners cite the reluctance or refusal of the vast majority of their partners to change.  Given the dynamic shifts occurring in the…

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Succession Management Pillar 4 of 5: Leadership Succession and Knowledge Transitions

09.12.18 | Susan Duncan

There are many complex issues related to succession. We have reviewed many of these already in our previous three posts which can be found here, here and here. In this fourth pillar, we will address two important areas that pose particular risk for law firms in two key areas: leadership transitions and loss of knowledge.Loss of…

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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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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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How Can We Help Practice Group Leaders to be Successful?

09.11.12 | Susan Duncan

The role of the Practice Group Leader (PGL) has become extremely demanding and complex. As firms have grown, they have developed additional ways to organize and manage themselves through industry groups, client teams and practice groups. Most firms now use PGs as their primary business units through which revenue is generated and measured, work is…

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Culture Part 2: How to Use or Adapt Culture to Succeed in the “New Normal”

08.28.12 | Susan Duncan

Last week, our post entitled Culture Part 1: Does Law Firm Culture Play a Role in Success or Failure? discussed the components that comprise organizational culture. Every law firm has a unique set of interwoven values and characteristics that make up its culture. As firms address the substantial disruptions posed by the economy, technology and supply and…

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