Strategy in the Law
The Practice May/June 2017
After several years of weak demand following the Great Recession, it’s a good time for a fresh look at the strategic options available to big law.
One of the core elements of building a good strategy is a clear understanding of the playing field—a difficult task in such a fragmented legal market. Mapping revenue per lawyer against lawyer headcount gives us one analytic for examining the market for legal services.
Steering Law Firm Strategy
Strategy as an explicit concept and worthwhile consideration is rather new to law firms. “For a long time, law firms didn’t need to have a strategy. Or to be very fair, the implicit strategy was: do excellent work,” says David B. Wilkins, a professor of law at Harvard Law School and the faculty director of the school’s Center on the Legal Profession.
The 2017 Am Law 100
With law firm strategy taking center stage in this issue of The Practice, the serendipitous release of the latest 2017 Am Law 100 offers a chance for us to take a deeper dive into some of the numbers that major firms will be pouring over as they formulate their strategies moving forward.
What Else Should We Do?
Between in-house legal departments and law firms, the legal market is demanding greater leaps of innovation to keep up. British Telecom, looking to reduce costs in its darkest hour, turned one of its internal strengths into a profitable legal service provider for external clients.
Selling a Strategy
The Linklaters: Seeking Clear Blue Water case study illustrates the important role that strategy can play in defining a law firm’s vision, improving its market position, and ensuring coordination between numerous global offices. It also highlights the challenges faced by management in attempting to secure buy-in from line partners, many of whom perceived Clear Blue Water as an unwelcome disruption.
Cutting Through the Headwinds
Mehrdad Baghai, the managing director of Alchemy Growth Partners, a boutique advisory firm, speaks with David B. Wilkins, faculty director of the Center on the Legal Profession, for a one-on-one conversation on strategy in the legal profession.