Remaking Law Firms: Why and How

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Remaking Law Firms: Why and How

  • ISBN: 9781634253963

ISBN: 978-1-63425-396-3
Product Code: 5190528
2016, 272 pages, 7 x 10, Paperback

The traditional law-firm business model has delivered technically excellent service at seemingly whatever cost. But times have changed, with price-down pressures, commoditization, and client demand for efficient, business-relevant services. This essential guide covers both the 'why' and the 'how' of remaking law firms and provides examples of innovative and successful business models from remade law firms.

Click here to read the Adam Smith, Esq. review by Bruce MacEwen!

Click here to read the Spanish-language More Than Law review by Eva Bruch!

Click here to read the The Law Society review by Barry Wilkinson!

Click here to read the review by Professor Stephen Mayson!

Click here to read the Scottish Legal News review by Brian Inkster!

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The traditional law-firm business model has delivered technically excellent service at seemingly whatever cost. But the times have changed, with the global financial crisis only accelerating the price-down pressures, commoditization, and client demand for efficient, business-relevant services. To...

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Product Reviews 5 out of 5  (16 Reviews)
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Brandon L Blankenship Dec 17, 2016 Report Abuse
In Remaking Law Firms: Why & How, George Beaton and Imme Kaschner overwhelmed an overwhelming task. Lawyers across the globe have noticed that something happened and is continuing to happen in the legal service provider industry. These authors inquired, surveyed, researched and organized the change into a blueprint for the modern law firm. Even then they weren’t done. They invited other industry thought leaders to join them in the discussion. Before this book, it would have been possible for a law firm to crumble into non-existence, never knowing why. With this book, there is no excuse for not identifying the trends in the legal service provider industry that are impacting your law firm and developing a healthy response to those trends. This book also stands as persuasive evidence that those who claim the legal service industry is shrinking are simply wrong. The industry is not shrinking but it has shifted significantly leaving many out. This book contains valuable resources to help those who find themselves left out to evaluate how to recover. Technology, shifting client expectations, unbundling, and re-defining quality in the sense of legal deliverable are all manageable changes when framed as Beaton and Kaschner have done. Further, it would be unfortunate not to acknowledge the method that the authors used to write this book. They used the same type of technology that is pushing law firms to change to take Remaking Law Firms from idea to a quality deliverable that is sorely needed. Brandon L. Blankenship, Birmingham, Alabama.
Eva Bruch Jul 28, 2016 Report Abuse
Eva Bruch, attorney and adviser to law firms at Morethanlaw (Spain) George Beaton does not speculate. Based on his own and others’ studies, listening to the opinion of experts and major players in the industry and with his own experience, he sketches the future of the legal services sector. If you are curious about clients and how they will satisfy their legal needs in 2025, the answers are in this book. What can a traditional law firm do to stay in business in the mid- to long-term? Beaton and Kaschner not only explain in detail, illustrated with case studies, the most advanced law firm management trends, but they also provide an unprecedented taxonomy to describe, identifying their characteristics and competitive advantages, as well as the challenges to overcome, to achieve their implementation. The role of technology is a key factor in the law firm transformation process. Especially for those lawyers who do not bill by the hour, the only way to preserve quality of service (and thus clients) and still maintain a profit margin, it is through the use of appropriate technologies that support efficiency. Are you curious about what Axiom is really doing? Does it represent a threat to law? Perhaps an alliance with Axiom could mean the difference between winning or losing a RFP. Perhaps we have never asked ourselves how long it will be before a specialist in technology, pricing or project management achieves the much-coveted status of partnership? According to the authors, given the crucial importance of management and its effects on attracting and retaining clients, maybe less than five years. All of this involves changes in organization, professionals and partners, requires changing the way we work and interact with clients. This is where the “change monster” builds the highest barrier past which a law firm will have to travel to remake itself. Examples of firms that have successfully overcome these barriers help others start the path to remake their own law firms.
Aron Solomon VII Jul 17, 2016 Report Abuse
Absolutely superb. George Beaton's book is the most thorough, comprehensive overview of where we are today as an industry and the forces that will determine where we're heading. Written in a very clear manner with helpful key point summaries in each chapter, this is a difficult book to put down. Surely, this should be required reading for law students as well as those considering a career pivot.
Jordan Furlong Jun 23, 2016 Report Abuse
It's rare that a single work can combine a truly visionary analysis of the legal services market with practical, down-to-earth guidance for restructuring the law firm business model, but Remaking Law Firms accomplishes that feat. George Beaton and Imme Kaschner have fashioned a highly readable and accessible guide to understanding legal market upheaval, as well as a blueprint for implementing the changes necessary for traditional law firms to adapt to their new competitive environment. Highly recommended for law firm leaders who want to know what the future holds and how to chart a straight course there.
Tony Griffiths May 23, 2016 Report Abuse
It has always struck me as odd that in response to the client question " What makes you different?" large law firms invariably stress "quality". To be clear it isn't at all surprising that lawyers, trained in the art ( and I use the word advisedly) of delivering perfection, should focus on the thing they are trained to deliver. What is odd is that they think in an objective comparison with other lawyers, that focus would differentiate them. In other words the perogative on assigning a quality mark to a body of work vests exclusively in the client rather than the lawyers or the law firm. As ever Peter Drucker captured the issue brilliantly " Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for". Drucker's pungent message lies at the heart of the excellent new work by Beaton and Kaschner " Reamking Law Firms;Why and How". The authors point out that changing a law firm's business model, in order to combat market headwinds, must start with an appreciation of what clients want and value, rather than what protects historic profit levels and entrenched internal interests. That fact that most struck me was the positive correlation the authors discovered in survey responses, between client satisfaction and the number of different disciplines which clients had experienced. The benefits to law firms of multi-disciplinary working and cross selling are obvious , but the authors' suggestion that those factors enhanced the client experience, and presumably differentiated the law firms as strategic advisers, provides a fascinating insight into what clients value and therefore what law firms should focus on in adapting to the current, challenging legal market. That reason alone ( although there are many others) distinguishes this important new work. Tony Griffiths, London Head - K&L Gates.
Rick Kathuria May 10, 2016 Report Abuse
The book provides great insight into the key issues that face law firms today. It ties together the research, experiences and opinions from thought leaders around the world into a concise, well-presented package. It’s like having a conversation with those who are working hardest to bring change to the profession and letting you know how they see the impact of these changes and how they are dealing with them. It is a great read not only for law firms, but in-house counsel and procurement professionals to better understand the changing landscape and how to ensure their companies benefit from it. Rick Kathuria, PMP, P. Eng, CMC Director, PM and Legal Logistics Gowling WLG
Richard Burcher Apr 23, 2016 Report Abuse
George Beaton and Imme Kaschner have done an extraordinary job of synthesising the thoughts, prognostications, warnings, insights and thoroughly engaging, informative and entertaining ramblings of over 40 of the world’s professional and thought leaders in legal services. One might think that a literary work entitled ‘Remaking Law Firms’ would be dusty, voluminous and impenetrable. It is in fact none of these. It does not lay claim to being an instruction manual or a roadmap for firms looking to reinvent themselves and determine their place in the world but one could do worse than treat it as a starting point for just that. It is very reader-friendly whether one wishes to read it from cover to cover or dip in and dip out as time and interest permits. Nor is its accessibility a function of a lightweight or superficial approach. As you would expect from someone of George and Imme’s academic stature, it is thoroughly researched, evidence-based and authoritative with copious footnotes and references. While there are quite a few similar publications, others are for the most part, simply a dissonant collection of curated content, albeit high quality. One cannot underestimate the value that George and Imme have added to this publication by sensitively and intelligently drawing on their own vast knowledge and experience and blending this with their interviews and research in order to weave a compelling and coherent narrative. In so doing, they have added enormous value from the reader's perspective. If you are like most law firm leaderships around the world, asking yourself "what on earth do we do now?" and you only have the time to read one book, this is it. Richard Burcher Managing Director Validatum
Richard Tapp Apr 15, 2016 Report Abuse
In Remaking Law Firms George Beaton and Imme Kaschner have produced a seminal work which analyses how client demand will drive fundamental change in the law firm of the future. Through the interviews and contributions for the book, they have captured the essence of many of the key innovations in the profession today – but more than that, they have been able to distil and refine the principles, best practice and models which underpin them. In doing so, they have noted that the competence of change readiness in a firm might be its most important strategic priority, underlying as it does the ability to respond to altered circumstances. Remaking Law Firms stands tall as a research-based view of the legal service industry, which enables and encourages the reader to address the future in their own firm. The kaleidoscope scenario which it portrays of the legal services sector in 2025 – one of radical change and diversity – should be required reading for every managing partner and General Counsel of today.
Michael Roster Apr 10, 2016 Report Abuse
If there’s a single book all lawyers (not just senior partners and managers) should read, this is it. George Beaton and Imme Kaschner have written an extraordinarily practical and focused book on the challenges law firms face and what firms can do about it. Their insights come from interviewing (me included) a diverse group of law firm leaders, general counsel and others. Beaton has been directly involved in starting and leading a number of professional entities and advising many law firms in several continents. Thus they aren’t just talking theory, but rather know firsthand the complexities of client service, billing, managing, and all the other functions that come with making a professional services firm work. I myself have been a managing partner (Morrison & Foerster’s LA office), practice group chair, general counsel (Stanford University and Golden West Financial) and client. The concepts throughout this book ring true from all of these perspectives. I especially appreciated the discussion of law being a mature industry and why the formula of the past 30 years has maxed out (hours x rate x leverage x expense x realization) as well as a multi-page self-assessment tool. The book doesn’t press for a single solution but rather opens a number of pathways for law firm leaders. I think this book is also very important reading for general counsel and other in-house lawyers since not only are they front-line lawyers, but they also are their companies’ purchasing agents for legal services and thus need to fully understand the changes needed in the economics and methodologies of their suppliers.
Richard Tromans Apr 7, 2016 Report Abuse
This is an interesting and encyclopaedic walkthrough of current thinking in today's legal market. My favourite parts were the taxonomy of law firms, combining 'New Law' firms with traditional ones, as well as the section on the Myers–Briggs personality types of lawyers, which was revealing. George's wedding of 'New Law' with the latest legal market trends, along with some very sensible observations on strategy makes this a useful book for all managing partners.
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