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Manage a Law Firm? Are You Crazy?

In her new book, Managing the Modern Law Firm: New Challenges, New Perspectives, editor Laura Empson of Oxford University writes:

"Some parents dream of their children becoming lawyers. None ever dream of their children becoming law firm managers. Why would anyone want to manage a law firm"

Why, indeed. As Edward Fennell, columnist for The Times of London, writes in his piece, A Seminal Moment for Law Firm Management, recent evidence suggests "that a significant minority of leading law firm managers are making stupid decisions and frittering away the firm's money." Even when they get it right, they foster "a culture of long, stressful hours." This is why Empson is square on, Fennell says, when she says:

"We are at a pivotal moment in the evolution of the modern law firm as law firm managers struggle to develop new ways of organising lawyers. There are terrible costs for getting it wrong."

This is true not merely for the largest firms. Law firm management consultant George Bull, of Baker Tilly, tells Fennell that even quite small firms must confront difficult management decisions that "mirror those which are debated amongst the cream of the Magic Circle." The book comes just in time, Fennell believes. "The lesson for every lawyer is that their professional skills are no longer enough."

(The book is scheduled for U.S. release in March.)

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 28, 2007 at 05:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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