The past can come back to haunt law firms that made promises to provide retired partners with substantial incomes, sometimes for life. Often, these promises of future benefits were made back in the “old days” when firms were smaller, partner incomes were lower and “for life” didn’t mean as long as it does now.
The problem with these deferred compensation arrangements is that they were often made without funding. Earning partners then became burdened by cash flow obligations to retired partners. The resulting impact on future profits can lead to some worrisome consequences, including these:
Documents have a distinct lifecycle. They move from being online (production) to near line (easily recoverable) to offline (archived). Knowing what to keep and for how long can be tricky business for law firms.
While it’s important to be able to produce critical documents when they’re needed, maintaining a file longer than necessary can cause trouble. Suppose a client follows standard document retention procedures and disposes of a set of documents. If the law firm retains related documents beyond that retention schedule, those documents then become discoverable in a legal matter.
The key is to develop document retention and destruction procedures that protect your interests as well as those of your clients.
What’s the difference between leadership and management? Perhaps management guru Peter Drucker put it best: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
As a business owner and leader, you must not only “do the right things,” but you must also inspire others to do the same. According to Daniel Goldman’s well-known Harvard Business Review article, “Leadership That Gets Results,” a manager’s leadership style is responsible for 30 percent of a company’s profitability.
If you’re a business owner, you’re an optimist. And as an optimist, you might assume that you and your partners will have smooth sailing for as long as your company is in business.
When it comes to profits, it’s not always about rainmaking … sometimes it’s about cost cutting. The reality is that reducing expenses — combined with steady or increasing revenue — results in increased profits.
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