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Practice Management

Law People Law People

Ronda Muir is a senior consultant at Robin Rolfe Resources, specializing in the area of law firm and law department organizational development and dynamics.
By Ronda Muir

Post Frequency: 1.1/day

Last Entry: March 23, 2011 at 19:58:24

Recent Entries: 246

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Metrics for Comparing Firm Rates

Posted on March 23, 2011
In addition to establishing metrics for demonstrating, for instance, who in the firm does what and how for project management or other purposes, there are metrics out there that track what individual firms charge for various units of work, so that inside counsel can compare value among firms in a more finely calibrated way...

Terrible Tuesdays and Lawyer Rehab

Posted on March 22, 2011
How stressed-out are you feeling today?  A UK study has concluded that 10 AM on Tuesdays is the peak period of stress during a lawyer's work week, and that 47% of lawyers carry their stress home from work, "leading them to drink (every now and then)...

The Metrification of Legal Talent

Posted on March 11, 2011
In order to achieve bottom line results that are more and more hard-fought, firms are frequently turning (some quite belatedly) to business management principles used in other industries--organization around teams, commodities work outsourcing, Six Sigma quality control, process and knowledge management efficiencies, and, in response to client pressure, estimating, budgeting and budget management systems...

Muir to Speak at Women Lawyers Alliance Annual Meeting

Posted on February 25, 2011
Muir will speak on Law Practice in the 21st Century:  What It Means for You at the Women Lawyers Alliance annual meeting in Chicago on Friday, May 20.  Muir will review the massive changes that law practice is undergoing globally in this new century and what it means to individual lawyers and their law departments and firms in terms of competition, recruitment, staffing, client development, compensation, professional training and personal career management...

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Large Firm Spread

Posted on February 16, 2011
The article 'Pay Gap Widens at Big Law Firms as Partners Chase Star Attorneys,' published in The Wall Street Journal last week, reported on the increasing spread in partner compensation at large law firms, setting many in the industry talking.  In fact, the article understates the extent of the spread, the factors driving it and the impact that spread is having on both the firms in question and throughout the industry...

Largest Law Firms the Most Fragile?

Posted on February 07, 2011
Two observations are made about law firms in "Big But Brittle: Economic Perspectives on the Future of the Law Firm in the New Economy" by University of San Diego Law professor David McGowan and academic fellow Bernard Burk of the Center of Corporate Governance at Stanford, recently published in the Columbia Business Law Review: that firms are getting larger, but that the larger ones are also more prone to rapid collapse...

The Value Advisory

Posted on February 03, 2011
The Value Advisory issued a press release today announcing the formation of a veteran group of advisors to provide law firms with strategies and resources that align firm offerings and operations with their clients' objectives.  At a time of increasing client demands for value at a reduced cost, The Value Advisory works with firms to assess their clients' changing standards and deliver services that meet those standards--in a way that honors the firm's historical values and reputation and also profitably sustains its future...

Where Will Profits Come From in 2011?

Posted on February 02, 2011
After literally years of bad news, recent reports have sparked a flurry of hope for an uptick in demand for legal services in 2011.  Let's look at the data for some indication of whether that optimism is justified.  According to the Citi Private Bank report issued for the first 3 quarters of 2010, while demand in 2009 was down an average of 4%, for the 1st 3 quarters of 2010 demand was down only 1%...

Trends in Partner Compensation Systems

Posted on January 28, 2011
One of the more interesting topics that we covered at this week's audio conference for CCM on Partner Compensation systems are the trends occurring in the types of systems being used--globally, in the US in response to the current market pressures and in the course of an individual firm's development...

Muir to Present Audio Conference on Partner Compensation

Posted on January 19, 2011
Muir and Norman Clark of Walker Clark will be co-presenting a Center for Creative Management audio presentation on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 2pm EST entitled "Partner Compensation--Defining the New Normal."  The presentation will cover: Key trends in partner compensation for 2011 Common and uncommon compensation plan options Who should evaluate performance and pay? Ways to assure that compensation plans match firm culture Implementation tactics to make effective long term changes For further information and to register, click here...

The Gay Man's Perspective on Women's Work/Life Balance Issues

Posted on January 18, 2011
Will Meyerhofer is a lawyer who worked at Sullivan & Cromwell before chucking it and getting his MSW to become a therapist. He is also gay. He writes the blog The People's Therapist and occasionally ties in issues relating to the legal community. His latest entry is about a recent podcast he did with the American Bar Association Journal on "Work/Life Balance...

Emotional Intelligence for Lawyers

Posted on January 16, 2011
Muir's "Emotional Intelligence for Lawyers" reviews the history of the development of emotional intelligence and how it applies to lawyers. Muir's "The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Making Partners" was awarded the Edge International Law Practice Magazine Award for excellence in writing...

The Unique World of Lawyers

Posted on January 16, 2011
Muir's "The Unique World of Lawyers" explores the ways in which the personal style of lawyers differs from that of the majority of Americans and how it effects both what lawyers perceive and how they are perceived.

Perception vs. Reality

Posted on January 11, 2011
In a Law Firm Leaders survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer, one of the more interesting findings was that 93% of law firms reported being willing to discuss flat or other alternative fee arrangements in 2010...

Muir Keynote Speaker for Hofstra Law School Boot Camp

Posted on January 04, 2011
Muir will be the Keynote Speaker at Hofstra Law School's Boot Camp on Tuesday, January 11, 2011.  Her presenation 'Emotional Intelligence—Your Secret Weapon for a Successful Law Practice'  will cover what the term 'emotional intelligence' means, the history of its discovery and development as a leadership skill, how lawyers score in emotional intelligence, how it is related to other assessed professional skills, what makes emotional intelligence a secret weapon for successfully practicing law in the 21st Century,  and how to improve your emotional intelligence.

Best Wishes for the Holidays and the New Year!

Posted on December 24, 2010
Our best wishes from LawPeopleBlog to all of our loyal subscribers for a healthy, happy holiday season and a joyous and profitable new year! 

Competing With Your Advisors

Posted on December 22, 2010
Thomson Reuters recently announced that it was buying legal process outsourcing provider Pangea3 for a price that has been estimated at between $35 and $40 million. At the same time, Thomson put up for sale BAR-BRI, the bar exam training and preparation company it purchased several years ago...

Washington College of Law Annual Fellows Meeting

Posted on December 17, 2010
At the Washington College of Law Annual Fellows Meeting and 2010 Futures Conference at American University, several presentations made on various challenges confronting the legal sector are worth noting.    Developments in the Global Market   Peter Zeughauser, Chairman of the Zeughauser Group, predicted that "demand for legal services long term will grow" and that the U...

Resizing the Legal Workforce: What It Means for You

Posted on December 08, 2010
Seat-of-the-pants projections by Hildebrandt as to the loss of associate positions over the next 5-7 years were published this fall to much hullabaloo.  By their lights, a very specific 27% of the 65,000 AmLaw200 nonpartner positions, or approximately 17,500, are likely to be cut or recategorized downward under the influence of the current market's prevailing winds...

Corporate Counsel Saying What They Want

Posted on November 30, 2010
At this year's Annual Meeting of over 2000 general counsel and senior in-house counsel, the Association of Corporate Counsel continued its promotion of the Value Challenge--i.e., making sure outside counsel understand what corporate counsel expect from them...

The Recession and Diversity Cont'd

Posted on November 23, 2010
Further to our earlier entry on diversity and the recession, here is some additional data. The New York Law Journal reported that the percentage of women partners and associates working at NLJ 250 law firms this year fell to its lowest point since 2006, accounting for 29...

Why Partner Compensation Will Go Down

Posted on November 15, 2010
In the wake of all the steps taken over the past few years to cut expenses, expectations might be that partner compensation might be stable or even going up again anytime soon.  So let's be very clear about what may have gotten lost in the webinar discussion last month on partner compensation: after marching up conservatively but reliably for decades and then shooting up wildly from 2001 through 2007, partner compensation is likely to stay essentially flat, if not decrease, over the next decade...

What Mid-Level Associates Are Saying About Our Future

Posted on November 10, 2010
The results of the AmLaw 200 Midlevel Associate Survey make for some interesting prognostications about our future. The average composite score from 5,092 associates fell to 3.728, the lowest overall score since 2004, which includes one of the lowest scores--3...

What MidLaw Associates Are Saying About Our Future

Posted on November 10, 2010
The results of the AmLaw 200 Midlevel Associate Survey make for some interesting prognostications about our future. The average composite score from 5,092 associates fell to 3.728, the lowest overall score since 2004, which includes one of the lowest scores--3...

The Recession and Diversity

Posted on November 03, 2010
Just a heads up on those initial reports that the recession had not impacted minorities and women in the legal profession.  The most recent data from a survey done by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association shows that fewer minority candidates are being hired and promoted, and they are leaving their jobs at a faster clip, while women seem to be holding their own...

"Category Killers"

Posted on October 24, 2010
James Surowiecki's article in this past week's The New Yorker reviews the rise, decline and near or total collapse of 'category killer' businesses like CompUSA, Circuit City, Toys R Us, Home Depot and most recently Barnes & Noble and Blockbuster. Why were these businesses, which enjoyed enormous success for a significant period of time, often virtually eliminating their competitors, unable to thrive? Surowiecki points to the reaction of management to changing circumstances, epitomized in the Blockbuster struggle...

Reducing Regulation as a Productivity Prod

Posted on October 19, 2010
As a followup to the previous entry's reference to law practice restrictions that exist in the US and are considered or being put in place in important new economies like Brazil and India, a recent article in The Economist discussed the significant drag such restrictions have on countries' attempts to improve productivity...

The Arrival of Outside Investment?

Posted on October 15, 2010
What recession? Slater & Gordon, the Australian firm, has been on a roll, buying up 10 firms over the last 3 years, realizing a 21% increase in revenues for 2009-2010, along with a 16% increase in PEP, both modest compared to the 27% increase in revenues and 42% increase in net profit achieved in 2008-2009...

Does Compensation Motivate?: The World According to Dan Pink

Posted on October 07, 2010
The most interesting question, in my opinion, that was asked of me and Peter Zeugheuser at last Thursday's CCM audio conference on Origination Credit and Partner Compensation for the New Legal Landscape was not really within the purview of the topic...

Profiting from New Market Demand: Alone or Collaboratively

Posted on September 28, 2010
In an effort to profit from the demand for more cost-effective legal services, law firms are considering offering a broader range of services themselves and/or entering into collaborative endeavors with other organizations--law firms, legal providers or non-lawyers, in some cases even servicing other law firms...

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