Law Firms; Coronavirus Crisis; Covid-19; Pandemic


This is my sixth post about law firms in the Coronavirus Crisis.

As governments around the US and the world begin to ease restrictions on social interaction, law firms, like all other business entities, are planning for “re-entry.” 

When law firms return from the compelled remote working experience, will they return to business as usual?  Will the fundamental operating models be the same as before?  Or will there be a “new normal”?  These are very real, and very important questions all law firm leaders need to answer.

History suggests that law firms revert to past practice once a crisis passes.  It is what they did after the financial crisis of 2008.  It is in their nature, they are trained to rely on precedent, and the old ways of working produce reliable results. 

I believe this time will be different for two fundamental reasons.  
Continue Reading Law Firms Must Look Ahead to a Very Different “New Normal”


This is my third post about law firms in the Coronavirus Crisis.  Last week I addressed leadership. Today I turn to management.

Managing during this crisis will be challenging and mission critical. It will require leaders to draw on their experience and imaginations to adapt pre-existing strategic and operational plans to guide radically changed circumstances.  The firm still intends to go where it was going, but it needs to deal with a new set of challenges on its way.

Today, I want to share some thoughts about two of those challenges. 

Managing a Remote Workforce

Starting in mid-March, all law firms suddenly found themselves with a totally remote workforce.  An unprecedented management challenge.
Continue Reading Managing a Totally Remote Workforce and Budget Pressures in the Coronavirus Crisis

 A TIME LIKE NO OTHER: A LETHAL PANDEMIC GRIPS THE WORLD                                  

We suddenly find ourselves in a dire and unexpected crisis.  A lethal, novel virus is spreading like wildfire around the world, leading to social policy decisions that radically change the way we work and live, which in turn are wreaking havoc with the world economy and financial markets, and having other grave consequences.  

I have decided to devote Legal Services Today for the next few weeks to discussing how law firms work through this crisis and prepare for what follows.  Law firms are the dimension of legal services I know best, having spent a quarter century leading one. In that time we confronted some very challenging times, though none as challenging as this one.  

Law firms will be profoundly affected for the duration of the crisis, and beyond.  The way law firm leaders execute their responsibilities during this time will make a big difference on how the firms, and all who depend on them, fare.  

This week I will address the unusual and complicated nature of this crisis.  In the weeks ahead I will discuss specific facets of law firm leaders responsibilities in the crisis, including:

  • Leading stakeholders through these risky and uncertain times;
  • Managing operations in a suddenly-imposed remote format; 
  • Balancing financial and other vital considerations; and 
  • Distilling lessons from the crisis to make the firm stronger when it is over.

Here is the first installment:

Understanding the Unique Nature of This Crisis
Continue Reading Leading Your Law Firm Through the Coronavirus Crisis