Going from one era to an alternative in the 1980s when I was asked to be the law firm’s Chief Operating Officer was challenging enough … and dysfunctional if seen from a 50,000 foot level. But, today, with four generations in an analogous workspace and literally competing for a similar jobs/clients, many conflicts and sparks emerge that wouldn’t in a different way. It’s a wonder that law firms continue to grow in such an atmosphere … obviously, such growth does provide “hiding” space to a degree for clash. See “Bad for the Brand” author, Jonathan Fitzgerald, for a prescient understanding.
“Collection policies” is a huge speed bump for lawyers. Insurance companies and law schools will urge strongly that a lawyer never sue for unpaid fees since the following day, the same lawyer will be sued for negligence. There are a a couple of ways to tackle this, adding doing good work, always reviewing your accounts receivable to make certain the client pays under the terms of his or her signed engagement contract and conducting a peer review of one’s own work before following through with a group grievance. Failure to pay is seldom on account of absence of funds; it is an emblem of dissatisfaction with the lawyer and the process of conversation or lack thereof … and this must be addressed right now. The second change is the reduction of California’s three day bar exam to two days.
Whether the criticism is that three days is more laborious than two days, which it is, or even if the more than $800,000 mark downs to the Bar is the motivation is not clear. Somehow, it just does not seem that saving money is of major fear to the “powers that be. ” It is also clear that educating its contributors – attorneys – also is not an incredible fear. Over 70 percent of the yearly State Bar budget is directed toward the disciplinary system. Of the matters within that system, over 50 % relate to management issues. Educating legal professionals to be more useful in dealing with their enterprise and working with their consumers unrelated to theft of client trust funds would result in a major discount of bills to the Bar, and augment more useful service to clients and, oh possibly even a reduction of annual dues to attorneys.
There is skepticism among advertising body of workers, or even legal professionals, how useful such a requirement will be. It would seem, though, that any center around “advertising and marketing” even though not at once related to the current activity of the associate would sensitize the associate to “new enterprise” alternatives that cross the path of every expert always.