Articles Posted in Lawyers Who Get it Right

This past Monday (July 2) Mark A. Cohen wrote the following in Forbes online:

“Law is staging its own version of ‘every kid gets a trophy’ … Every week, all over the globe, the legal industry throws gala dinners to celebrate its ‘innovators,’ ‘visionaries,’ and ‘pioneers.’  These gatherings afford attendees a chance to dress up, schmooze with peers, feel important, and convince themselves that their industry is performing splendidly. Legal providers are hearing ‘Celebration’ while for buyers it’s ‘I can’t get no satisfaction.'”

I met Mark Cohen a couple of months ago at a global conference on legal innovation sponsored by Northwestern University’s Pritzker Law School’s Center for Practice Engagement and Innovation where he is a Distinguished Fellow.

On one hand, he’s what I’d call “a lawyer’s lawyer”, with:

” … An international reputation as a ‘bet-the-company’ civil trial lawyer with stints as a decorated Assistant United States Attorney; BigLaw Partner; National Litigation Boutique Founder and Managing Partner; Federally-appointed Receiver of an international aviation parts business conducting operations on four continents; and outside general counsel to three insurance companies.”

But this “lawyer’s lawyer” also founded and managed two entrepreneurial companies before advising law firms and law departments on improving their services delivery:

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My last post was discouraging:

“Business Leaders Need to Drive Better Legal Pricing and Services Delivery Because Lawyers Won’t or Can’t”.

Discouraging, but proven.

Among law firms:

  • 69% of leaders surveyed said that, “partners resist most change efforts”, and
  • 59% gave this reason: “We are not feeling enough economic pain to motivate significant change.”

And among in-house law departments:

“Altman Weil found that 55% of Chief Legal Officers believe that they do not have enough buying power to negotiate more effectively. Some 51% also say that law firms are resisting discounting. Interestingly, 30% of the CLOs do not want to damage good relationships with external counsel by asking for greater discounts.”

But it’s not all gloom.

Some outlier firms and individuals in the legal industry understand that client companies need to do more with less in managing their legal affairs. And they’ve been taking decisive action to that end.

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