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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 […]

Many of you are aware that I was in the CMO role for over a decade. It was not without its challenges, and there were moments when it felt like pushing a boulder up a hill, but I really loved the position. I loved being in the hot seat to drive innovation and growth, seeing […]

When lawyers are unhappy at their firm, they have a nasty habit of telling their clients. And the clients take notice. In a recent column for The American Lawyer, The Careerist columnist Vivia Chen cites a Harvard Business Review article as context and support for her position that the benefit of the quest for workplace happiness is overstated. The […]

Last month, I spent two days with my dear friend Sanju Kripalani at Wicker Park Group’s annual client event. Sanju has one of those careers that very well may be unique to him: pedigreed education, New York law firm, Portland partner, DJ, marketing partner, patron of the arts, club owner, general counsel, yachtsman and now, […]

Telling a great story is often the difference between being listened to and being heard. In law firms, you are potentially telling a great story whether you are pitching to a client, negotiating compensation or winning over leadership in the quest for resources and support. Outside of law firms we tell stories for many reasons, including […]

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 […]

5 Key Questions for GCs

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As a former general counsel, I’ve been on the other side of the outside counsel/client relationship and learned a lot about what works and what really doesn’t work. While it should come as no surprise that effective communication is essential to that relationship, it is easy to forget how differently lawyers and C-suite executives tend […]

It’s no surprise to anyone that the legal community is not typically classified as innovative. But as law firms and legal service providers adjust to the changing economic landscape, many of the more successful ones are adopting innovative practices to stand out and provide a higher caliber service or product.  Innovation in the legal industry […]

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 […]

In today’s Wall Street Journal in an article titled Top Lawyers Push Rates Above $1,000 an Hour(subscription required) the author leads the article by noting a “significant increase” in rates from previous years and that the lawyers are “taking advantage of big clients’ willingness to pay top dollar for certain types of services.” What? Taking advantage […]

Reed Smith will undoubtedly hit $1 billion in revenue in 2011, according totoday’s Am Law Daily. The legal publication has been reporting big numbers all week, but why isn’t there an uproar over this news, like we have seen as a result of the big banks and CEO bonuses?  Big league New York firms are reporting record profits, with […]

In the November 2010 issue of the American Lawyer new AmLaw editor-in-chief Robin Sparkman (former editor of sibling publication Corporate Counsel) opens the issue with an editorial that tackles head-on the resistance firm leadership has to engaging in client feedback. Select quotes include:  “Many partners simply don’t want their MP or chairman to meet with their biggest clients—even if […]

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