Managing Partners Forum

The opportunity to spend an entire day sharing ideas with other managing partners was very therapeutic. I feel better knowing that I am not alone.

Jeffrey L. Embleton, Esq.
Mansour, Gavin, Gerlack & Manos - Cleveland, OH

Profitability

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White Papers

  • 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market
    by Georgetown Law and Thomson Reuters

    The past decade has seen unprecedented change and disruption in the legal market. Sparked by the Great Recession of 2008, the pressure on today’s law firms is more intense than ever. As the market evolves over time, there will be winners and there will be losers. According to this year’s report, here are four important areas to which your law firm should pay close attention:

    • Unrelenting Focus on Profitability
    • Focus on Expanding Your Leverage Model
    • Clear Focus on Your Firm’s Core Practice Areas
    • New Focus on Supply Chain Management
    This is a great report to circulate to your partners and discuss what it means to your firm at an upcoming partnership meeting. As Charles Darwin observed in his theory of evolution, the species with the best chance of survival are not always the strongest and the smartest. They are the ones most adaptable to changes in the environment.

  • Guide to Value-Based Fees
    by Association of Corporate Counsel

    Companies are changing the way they buy legal services – gradually in some instances, drastically in others. The hourly rate billing model that has ruled for decades is giving way to a greater focus on terms emphasizing value delivered instead of time spent. Against this backdrop, value-based fee structures are seen as an effective way to manage cost, and it goes far beyond just the dollars. This White Paper is written from the perspective of in-house counsel.  

  • Legal Pricing in Transition  
    by Jim and Matt Hassett, LegalBizDev

    Legal pricing is changing as a result of client pressures for efficiency on both hourly and non-hourly matters and the increasing use of alternative fee arrangements, and law firms are being forced to rethink their approach. This paper includes interviews with pricing leaders from a number of large firms that are working to better understand their costs, improve value creation, measure value, and apply project management techniques to control both cost and value. It ends with eight predictions, including a continuing increase in competition and that to succeed in the future law firms will be required to put more emphasis on both initial pricing and subsequent project management.  

  • Future Law Office:
    Technology's Transformation of the Legal Field 

    by Robert Half Legal

    Many vendors and consultants to the legal industry publish self-serving articles and White Papers as part of their marketing programs. In many cases, however, they're little more than poorly disguised sales brochures promoting products and services they offer law firms. But this one is solid. It's well-researched and chocked full of expert opinions on how technology has impacted lawyers and law firms.

  • 2011 Law Firms in Transition
    An Altman Weil Flash Survey

    by Thomas S. Clay and Eric A. Seeger

    This year's AW Flash Survey of leaders from firms with 50+ lawyers surprises me in its optimism. And it's back to business as usual when it comes to annual rate increases at the country's largest law firms. Among the survey findings:  

    • 95% of firms increased hourly rates in 2011, by an average of 4%.
    • 95% of firms offer alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), and most say it's less profitable than work billed on an hourly basis.
    • 68% of firm leaders believe that fewer equity partners are a permanent structural change in the legal profession.
    • 60% of firm leaders say that lateral hires do not meet expectations. 
    • 60% of firm leaders believe that contract lawyers are on the rise and a permanent trend.
    The survey was released in late May and, if you have not already done so, we recommend that you circulate it to your partners with your take on things and what it means for your firm.
    Click here (or above) to download the complete 42-page survey report.
    Click here to download the 10-page executive summary.   

  • 2010 Law Firms in Transition: An Altman Weil Flash Survey 
    by Altman Weil, Inc.

    Here's yet another report suggesting that alternative fee arrangements are here to stay, with BigLaw leading the way. According to the survey of mostly larger law firms, 95% say they use some form of alternative fee arrangements. Yet, the percentage of total revenue generated through non-hourly based billing remains quite low.

  • The MPF 2010 Annual Conference
    A Summary of Discussion Points and Findings 

    by Charles F. Huxsaw and John Remsen, Jr.

    Over 90 managing partners, firm leaders and top consultants to the legal industry participated in The MPF 2010 Annual Conference on April 29th in Atlanta, Georgia. This comprehensive White Paper summarizes the key findings revealed through the use of state-of-the-art Audience Participation Technology. It focuses on how law firms approach strategic planning and the role of the managing partner; including what they do, how much time they spend in the role and how they get paid for all that non-billable effort. This is really good stuff.

  • LexisNexis
    State of the Legal Industry Survey Report 

    by LexisNexis

    This 48-page report reveals deep divisions in how law firm leaders and in-house counsel perceive the future of the legal profession. Most corporate counsel insist that there will be fundamental changes in the way law firms operate, and that they have changed far too little in the wake of the economic downturn. Many law firm leaders disagree. On top of that, 65% of law students feel unprepared to enter the profession. 300 firm leaders, 150 in-house counsel and 100 law students participated in the survey which was conducted in late 2009.

  • Legal Marketplace in Late 2009
    by Smock-Sterling Strategic Management Consultants

    As we approach year-end 2009, our friends at Smock-Sterling report good news to law firm leaders. They surveyed over 100 midsize firms, asking 26 important questions about the present and future legal marketplace. While many firms and practice areas have taken big hits during the economic downturn, most have not; and the law firm business model has proven itself to be remarkably resilient, especially for midsize firms.

  • Managing Partner Confidence Index - 2nd Quarter 2009
    by Citi Private Bank

    Faculty Member Darryl Cross recently brought this quarterly survey to our attention. It captures the attitudes and opinions of leaders of the nation's largest law firms and there's good news. The current issue reports a strong sense among managing partners that the worst of the recession may finally be over.    

  • Law Firms in Transition
    by Altman Weil

    Our friends at Altman Weil recently released this survey which reveals how larger law firms are adjusting to the economic downturn. It asked firms to identify both temporary and longer term changes they have made in a number of key areas.   

  • The Current Economic Environment - What Firm Leaders Are Saying
    by John S. Smock, John W. Sterling and Peter A. Giuliani

    Forum Faculty member John Smock and his partners recently wrote this assessment of how law firms are performing in the midst of the current economic downturn. And it's not as bad as you might think for the well-managed law firm.   

  • Practical Advice to Improve Your Firm's Profitability
    by John Remsen, Jr.

    From the inaugural issue of the Managing Partner Forum newsletter, firm leaders reveal their top management concerns and thoughts on strategic planning. Our response? It's time to assume the role of CEO in order to make the firm profitable.