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Apr 08, 2008


Question: I am a legal administrator with a midsized firm in the southwest. Our firm has recently lost two major clients and we have not acquired any new major clients for many years. Other problems regarding failure to innovate also exist. I am concerned that if the partners do not change their ways that we may not still be in business in the next few years. The firm need to change. Where do we start? How can I teach old dogs new tricks?

Response: This is a common problem being reported to us by several of our clients. Institutional clients are now shopping for legal services. They are looking for innovative solutions to their problems. They are looking for law firms that they can partner with and that becomes in essence a part of their team. The old ways of conducting business is no longer working with institutional clients. Law firms need to rethink their business and perhaps reinvent their practices. This will not be an easy task for many law firms. Change does not come easy and it cannot happen unless the firm sincerely desires to change and do things differently. In many cases law firms cultures will need to be changed to a client orientated model. This will take time and patience. Legal administrators will play an instrumental part in this process. The firm may want to start by getting out of the day-to day management rut and begin a process of long term strategic planning. Only then will the roadmap to change be able to be formulated.

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

Posted at 03:34 PM in Strategy

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