Avoiding Extinction
Avoiding Extinction

Avoiding Extinction

Table of Contents

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks. (Location 53)

Tags: change

Note: Be open to drastically changing plans

most law firms around the world still practice law the way it has been practiced for centuries; a labor-intensive endeavor carried out by high-priced personnel billing by the hour. Protected by legislated monopolies, law firms have been allowed to grow complacent, fat and inefficient. (Location 75)

Tags: lawyers, lawfirms

Note: .lawfirms

Law does not exist to provide a livelihood for lawyers any more than illness exists to provide a livelihood for doctors. Successful legal business may be a by-product of law … but it is not the purpose. (Location 81)

Adopting the efficiencies and other ideas discussed in this book are not impossible. The greater challenge however, will come in doing away with the practice of billing by the hour. Compensation and career advancement in most firms are tied to the number of hours billed by a lawyer. When billable hours are done away with, firms will be forced to restructure how they pay their lawyers and how lawyers will advance within the firm. They will be forced to consider the types of behavior that they want from their lawyers and design compensation and advancement models that drive that kind of behavior. (Location 107)

Tags: billing, lawfirms

Note: .lawfirms law firms will struggle to move away from the billable hour


CHAPTER 1 Maria’s Dilemma

Maria had also been able to achieve additional cost savings by using geography to her advantage, sending legal work to lawyers in lower-cost parts of the country rather than to those who charged big-city fees; the savings were good, but more needed to be done. (Location 178)

Tags: globalisation, outsourcing

Note: Send some legal work to cheaper locations

We are successful because we believe in changing the nature of how legal services are delivered. We are successful because we relentlessly search for ways to leverage technology and professionals in order to service our clients’ legal needs. We are successful because we don’t benchmark against what others are doing—we reimagine the entire process. (Location 195)

Tags: legal

Note: .legal reimagine the enntire process

lawyers are trained to be slaves to precedent, to revere the past, and Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote comes true: “We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.” (Location 221)

Tags: lawyers

Note: .lawyers lawyers are slaves to precedence

New bases for remuneration and advancement will have to be created which have nothing to do with the number of hours billed. (Location 248)

Tags: billing

Legal knowledge, in and of itself, was in fact becoming less valuable. And being smart was just not enough. Add to that, increased competition from non-traditional service sources: accounting firms, paralegals, consultants, in-house legal departments, and legal process outsourcers. Traditional law firms were like lobsters sitting in a slow boiling pot; they had no idea that they were on the cusp of extinction. (Location 261)

Tags: legal disruption

The key to survival was better processes and greater efficiency—constant innovation in the delivery of legal services, not only so legal work could be conducted at more affordable pricing, but also so lawyers could provide more client care than they would otherwise be unable to. Accounting giant KPMG had a mission statement that was something to the effect that: We exist to turn our knowledge into value for the benefit of our clients. I loved it! (Location 265)

The greatest danger to the legal profession comes from those who resist change—typically older partners with retirement on the near horizon. Being willfully blind is not just dangerous to your colleagues within the firm, it’s the epitome of selfishness. (Location 271)

CHAPTER 2 Six Months Earlier

can we agree that the value of legal services provided to us is to be defined by us? Not defined by the number of hours spent to do the work?” (Location 496)

“What we value is the result, not the time it took to get to that result.” (Location 507)

Tags: results