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Welcome to the Blogosphere Mr. Maister

One of the great things of blogosphere is that we are constantly welcoming new authoritative bloggers.  David Maister is one such professional who is respected by many.  He recently launched a new Blog and has an interesting new post.  David comments on the Adam Smith, Blog about rising salaries for young lawyers.  The concept of paying people richly and then working them like dogs is a pretty good description of our current law firm management model.  Here is the money quote:

The real question that tests a management approach is not whether it rewards good performance and punishes underperformance, but whether it creates performance.

My complaint about law firm management systems built on the hourly billing model is that the hourly billing model has taken control of law firm management.  Everything about the management system for most law firms is focused on driving more hours, billing more time and exacting more blood from the lawyers and staff in order to accomplish greater revenue aspirations.  What is lost in this model is any notion of customer service, innovation or any metric which gauges value to the client. 

Welcome to the Blogosphere Mr. Maister.  I’m adding you to my Blog Roll.  I would recommend for anyone else to do the same. 


David Maister

The welcome is very much appreciated.

Naturally, I agree that the EXCLUSIVE or overwhelmingly dominant use of billable hours as a performance metric is dysfunctional. Most partners and managing partners would agree.

So why do law firms (if they all understand the issue)not address it and solve it? They are smart people, right?

Many authors and analysts have offered alternative management metrics (my own began in my 1993 book MANAGING THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FIRM.)

Is the lack of change explained by the ability of lawyers to brilliantly shoot down any new idea, so that carrying on with the current model is the only viable one? or is there a better explanation?

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