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I recently attended a Birmingham LMA panel discussion moderated by Wicker Park Group partner Laura Meherg entitled “Lateral Integration & How to Avoid a Six-Figure Mistake.” Lateral hiring is often viewed as the number-one growth strategy for law firms. Because most law firms plan to hire laterals, I felt it important to share some of […]

An IT lawyer recently made a striking observation to me. He works in the flat-screen TV industry and noted that a flat-screen TV from twenty years ago could cost $20,000 or more and lacked much of today’s technology. But every year, the technology has gotten better as the cost has declined. You can now buy […]

Howard Schultz recently announced he is stepping down from his role as CEO and Chair of Starbucks to focus on the company’s plans to build high-end coffee shops that charge as much as $12 per cup of coffee. That makes me think of the top end of the lawyer’s hourly billable rate. The $2,000 hour […]

Wicker Park Group recently had the opportunity to speak with Doug Luftman, the Chief Innovation Officer and General Counsel at Lecorpio. He shared insights on what GCs are looking for from outside counsel and how to develop and strengthen those relationships. Luftman said, “The most valuable thing is outside counsel being savvy about my business and having true […]

In the past month, I have moderated multiple in-house counsel panels (both in public forums and at private law firm retreats), interviewed more than a dozen in-house counsel and led client service workshops at law firms. In every instance, I was struck by the widening gap between what clients want from their outside counsel and […]

I recently had the opportunity to perform my civic duty as a juror. While the timing was inconvenient and the case not all that interesting, the experience provided a great perspective on the dramatic impact of strong communication and meeting facilitation skills. The case was relatively short, and there were only three witnesses called. The […]

Early in my law firm marketing career, I held an in-house position at a Pacific Northwest law firm of approximately 150 lawyers. I was asked to speak at the firm retreat. I shaped my presentation around the basics: Focus on relationships, distinguish yourself through client service and always be responsive. As I opened the floor […]

As mentioned in a recent blog post, we at Wicker Park Group love to read and love to share favorites with each other and with clients. Amid the many excellent books that address the client experience, we picked one particularly standout book to share with clients this year: Zombie Loyalists by Peter Shankman. Zombie Loyalists […]

Books to Inspire

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Summer reading has remained an ingrained habit from school days. At WPG, we are all avid readers and share book recommendations across genres. We read everything from current bestsellers and biographies to cookbooks and of course business books. Our 2016 summer reading focus at WPG has been on understanding the “client experience,” and we’ve all […]

Unsurprisingly, no law firm has had the courage in recent weeks to say, “In light of the unjustified first-year associate salary increases, we are reducing first-year base compensation by $10,000 to better align our business with our clients’ ongoing economic reality and invest in our client relationships.” There is no value to your clients in […]

The massive uptick in how corporate legal departments and law firms are collecting data to make smarter decisions in any number of areas may very well disrupt the legal industry. But Big Data is not a replacement for Little Data: the voice of the individual client. From IBM’s ROSS and Watson to Mitratech’s March acquisition […]

Law firms love meetings. And in most law firms, meetings are ineffective because of broken structures, focus and outcomes. Let’s point out of the obvious: Firms ask individuals who are the busiest, the most critical to the firm’s success and often the most productive to attend too many meetings. Firms conduct a significant number of […]

The following was posted October 26 by Lindsay Griffiths on her blog, Zen and the Art of Legal Networking. Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Director of Global Relationship Management.   If you’re a regular reader of Zen, you’ll know that I love in-house counsel panels. During the recent Legal Marketing Association’s Technology Conference, we had one […]

In recent decades, many firms have embraced the transition of certain administrative and management duties such as pricing, project management and process improvement from the attorneys to professional staff. Yet there is continued reluctance to the hiring of client-facing business development (i.e. sales) staff. Why does this reluctance to sales support still exist? And how […]

Last summer, we shared a list of books that engaged us and encouraged us to rethink how we approach our work and personal lives. Adding to that list, these insightful books address everything from the power of optimism to the importance of decluttering your spaces. Check them out and let us know what you think: […]

Interview with Sarah Rosen, Associate Legal Counsel Union Square Hospitality Group Union Square Hospitality Group, founded by Danny Meyer, is the parent company to some of New York City’s most beloved restaurants, including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke and Shake Shack. The company also includes Union Square Events, a catering and events business, and […]

Interview with Joni Lee Gaudes, Vice President, General Counsel & Co-Head of Internal Control FCTI, Inc. FCTI, Inc. is a leading nationwide ATM network and service provider. Since 1993, it has deployed customized ATM solutions to America’s largest financial institutions, travel centers and retailers. The Los Angeles-based company is owned by Seven Bank, LTD and operates in […]

In law school, they don’t teach you to work in teams. In fact, most of the programs are designed to encourage competition with your classmates. However, when you enter the workplace and as your career evolves, some of your most important and interesting work will depend on your ability to provide excellent legal services as […]

Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed quality time with family and friends over the holidays. It is hard to believe it is January 6, 2015. Where does the time go? Whether you are a New Year’s resolution kind of person or simply ready for a fresh beginning, we thought we would share a few […]

Interview with James Koutras, Senior Corporate Counsel & Secretary Cristal USA Inc. Cristal USA Inc. is a Hunt Valley, Maryland-based manufacturer of titanium dioxide. The company has operations in Illinois, Maryland and Ohio. The parent company, Cristal, operates on five continents and is one of the largest producers of titanium dioxide and a leading producer […]

Here at WPG, Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. It allows for cherished time with friends and family. Most of us, at least in the United States, are able to slow down, take a few days away from the office and be grateful for our many blessings. We overindulge in home-cooked food, embrace family […]

Client Q&A: Joe Benage

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Interview with Joe Benage, Vice President, Insurer and Employer Services Quest Diagnostics Quest Diagnostics provides crucial diagnostic information that supports and enhances decisions people make to improve patients’ health. The company offers a wide range of products and services that benefit patients, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical medical device companies, life insurance companies and employers.   Q: In […]

At the LMA Southeastern Chapter conference in Nashville, Tennessee panelists shared best practices for strategic planning in law firms. While everyone agrees it’s critical for law firms to have a strategic plan, one panelist—the managing partner of a mid-size law firm—advises not to bother “creating one more nice notebook to put on the shelf” unless […]

We always appreciate a good book, especially when it is teaching us something valuable about how we live and work. Some of these books have challenged the way we view leadership and some have provided insights into teamwork and character, but all of them have left us wiser about how to foster strong work environments […]

Interview with Jim Hutcherson Chief Legal Officer/ VP Human Resources Bahnson, Inc. — An EMCOR Company Bahnson is one of the largest specialty engineering, manufacturing and mechanical contracting firms in the United States specializing in ultra-low freezers and environmental chambers. They provide infrastructure and construction management services to a variety of clients requiring the highest […]

Knowing that word of mouth referrals dominate attorney and law firm hiring decisions, Stinson Leonard Street decided to accelerate their understanding of the firm’s referability. Adding to their already robust client feedback efforts which include regular leadership visits, internal and third party conducted in-person and telephone client interviews, and a client advisory panel; the firm […]

In a fascinating article in The New York Times Magazine I read that several educators across various socioeconomic backgrounds are trying to measure and improve the character of their students. The idea is that by improving character, particularly “performance character,” the students will be better prepared to face the challenges of college and adulthood. Based on the […]

As we wrote in our previous post, we are exploring seven character traits of high achievers that also translate into great success for client relationship management and business development. In this post, we are covering zest, grit and self-control. ZestWhen we hear the term zest used within a professional context, a lot of us imagine […]

In our ongoing look at the seven character traits of high achievers, we are devoting this post to an important one: social intelligence. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and expert in social intelligence, explains in an article for the Harvard Business Review that neuroscience research has shown us the high value of social intelligence and its impact on […]

This new video from RethinkLaw perfectly captures the state of the Legal industry and the ongoing and evolving shift in the client/law firm relationship.

In our final blog post exploring the traits that lead to successful client relationships and business development, we’re talking about curiosity. The article in the New York Times Magazine that inspired this series discusses the KIPP charter schools, which focus on seven character traits that they believe will foster success. Per KIPP’s site, a curious person is someone […]

The character traits we are looking at this week, gratitude and optimism, seem pretty straightforward. After all, you’ve surely thanked your clients for their business, and having a generally positive attitude is easy enough. But our experiences at Wicker Park Group have taught us that taking purposeful steps to effectively express gratitude and cultivate an […]

My dear friend Sarah Robinson is doing something amazing. She has asked 30 people to author a blog post under the theme “Changing Your Game.” One post will appear each day for 30 days. Today is day four of the series and is my day to contribute! Please check out my poston “Making The List.”

A recent survey of the web habits of general in-house counsel has revealed that almost 90% of them agreed that a law firm’s website plays a key role in influencing a purchasing decision. The survey was conducted by Wicker Park Group on behalf of Hubbard One, a Thomson Reuters business that provides services for marketing […]

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