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November 2006

Nov 28, 2006

Firm Culture

The following questions was recently submitted for comment:

Question: I often hear the term firm culture used. What does this term mean and what impact does it have upon management of a law firm?


Firm culture is the part of the firm’s internal environment that incorporates a set of assumptions, beliefs, and values that organizational members share and use to guide their functioning. Is a pattern of shared values and beliefs giving members of a firm meaning and providing them with rules for behavior. These values are inherent in the ways organizations and their members view themselves, define opportunities, and plan strategies.

Much as personality shapes an individual, organizational culture shapes its members responses and defines what an organization can or is willing to do. Click here for link to full article

Nov 27, 2006

Plans and Goals For 2007

As we approach the Christmas holiday season we need to begin thinking about next year. Here are some suggestions:

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Nov 24, 2006

Marketing Idea For 2007

Our firm recently completed client satisfaction interviews for several of our insurance defense law firm clients. Here are a few quotes and a summary of what these insurance company law firm clients told us:

Much can be learned by talking to your clients. Structured telephone interviews conducted by a neutral third party can provide many surprises as well as answers. Client satisfaction interviews can be the best marketing investment that you can make.

Nov 21, 2006

I had a call today from a lawyer expressing the following frustration:

I have been practicing law for ten years and I feel that I am in a rut. I am working for a firm and the relationship is no longer working out for me. I don’t have enough time for my family. My kids are growing up fast and I don’t have enough time to enjoy them. I need to make a change. Where do I start?

I provided him with the following suggestions:

A balanced personal and professional life is becoming more important to everyone. Time is a precious commodity. You should:

  • Develop a personal life plan and career/practice business plan.
  • Develop skills in time and money management.
  • Define what is important to you and define your personal-professional life boundaries.
  • Enjoy life and get involved in activities other than the practice of law.
  • Take charge of your quality of life – it is your responsibility.
  • Obtain training in the business of law.
  • Become entrepreneurial – think like a business person.

    Begin by conducting an inventory of your personal and professional life. Start with your personal life. Identify your personal and family goals. Then move on to your professional and career goals. Develop both a career plan and a business plan for your practice. Some of the decisions that you will have to consider are:

  • Should you go with another firm or start your own practice?
  • Should you work for a large firm or small firm?
  • Should you go to work for a corporate law department or a governmental agency?
  • Do you need additional training or education? Should you get a LLM or a MBA?
  • Where do you want to work?
  • What type of work and working environment will make you passionate about your work?
  • For whom do you want to work? What type of law firm? What type of clients?
  • Do you want to be a partner in a law firm?
  • How much of a balance do you want to maintain between your career and home life?
  • How important is money? How much do you want or have to make?

    Once you have defined your personal and professional goals you can formulate your action plans as to how you will get there and incorporate them into to career/business plan.

    John W. Olmstead, Ph.D, CMC

  • Nov 21, 2006

    Tips On Getting Paid

    I  have seen more law firms and other business firms destroyed by poor cash flow than any other calamity. Cash flow is what keeps owners, partners and administrators awake at night. Many of our law firm clients have asked us for tips on getting paid. Here are some thoughts and suggestions.

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