GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 8

8

Managing Partner Luncheon
JUNE 11, 2019

This year's Managing Partner Luncheon, held at
Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, was presented by
Blaine Prescott of MesaFive, LLC, a management
and strategy consulting firm specializing in the legal
profession. The topic, "The Best of Times or the
Worst of Times: Understanding and Competing in an
Increasingly Complex Profession," discussed twelve
trends currently impacting the legal profession. Below
is a summary of the trends discussed:
1. Economics Are Hiding Bigger Issues.
Every year since the recession, the legal industry has
done better; however, productivity is down and profits
are mostly coming from increased rates and the sheer
health of the market, not necessarily from anything firms
are doing internally to run more profitably. There are five
key levers that managers in a law firm can manipulate
to change profits: rates, hours, costs, leverage, and
realization. Most firms just keep pulling the rate lever
without experimenting with ways to tweak all the levers
and truly maximize efficiency and profitability.
2. Firms vs. Competing Sole Practitioners.
Are the attorneys in your firm truly integrated with one
another or are they more siloed? According to Prescott,
the most successful firms are those that are highlyintegrated, where there is a strong culture of crossreferrals among departments and people are rewarded
for their use of leverage and working across practice
areas. You don't want to be competing with each other
internally as much as you are competing with other
firms externally.

GLA ALA Leadership Exchange I Spring 2019

3. Growth of Non-Law Firm Competitors.
Continuing a 20-year trend, accounting firms,
consultants, and contracted lawyer services are taking
market share away from traditional law firms. These
alternative providers often have better leverage, more
integrated technology, and better value pricing than
law firms. In addition, in-house counsel are continuing
to use fewer outside firms and handle more matters
internally.
4. Segmentation.
Law firms at the top of the profession look nothing like
those at the bottom. Prescott provided an excellent,
real-world example of the profit on a first-year associate
at three firms across the spectrum of rates and salaries.
There is vastly more profit available at the high-end than
the low-end, as you might expect, but what was striking
was that the middle-market example showed negative
profit. Firms trying to compete with premium firms
in terms of salary when their rates don't support that
structure will find themselves in the red. Knowing where
your firm fits in the spectrum and managing accordingly
is essential to timekeeper (and overall) profitability.
5. Leverage Can Help or Hurt.
Better leverage can produce dramatically higher profits;
however, increased leverage requires increased and
high-quality supervision. Increasing your associate-topartner ratio will backfire in terms of quality and client
satisfaction unless there is a corresponding increase in
the quality supervision of those associates. Most law
firms don't train lawyers how to supervise, however, and
defeat the purpose and benefits of increased leverage.


https://www.mesafive.com/

GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019

Contents
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - Cover1
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - Cover2
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 3
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 4
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - Contents
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 6
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 7
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 8
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 9
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 10
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 11
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 12
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 13
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 14
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 15
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 16
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 17
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 18
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 19
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 20
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 21
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 22
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 23
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 24
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 25
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 26
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 27
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 28
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 29
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 30
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 31
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 32
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 33
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - 34
GLA ALA Leadership Exchange - Summer 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_springsummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_spring2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_fall2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_summer2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_earlysummer2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_winter2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_summer2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20141011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20140809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20130809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20130405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20131201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20120405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elawmktg/leadershipexchange_20111201
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com