In this 200th episode of The Geek in Review, talk with Toby Brown, CEO and founder of DV8 Legal Strategies, and Nita Sanger, Director of Digital Advisory Services at Cherry Bekaert. There are three rules for growth and success when it comes to large law firms. Strategy, strategy, and strategy.

Brown emphasizes the need for law firms to develop strategies that prioritize clients and build meaningful relationships. He argues that “firms should start thinking of clients as customers and using customer experience as a way to differentiate themselves.” Sanger shares this view, adding that law firms should “focus on value creation, continuous improvement, and customer experience” as they grow and evolve.

Both Brown and Sanger discuss how law firms can reframe their view of growth, moving away from a talent management perspective and toward a mergers and acquisitions approach. Brown highlights his experience at a prior law firm, where he transformed the lateral partner program into a strategic acquisition initiative. He explains, “this is straight up M&A. So I renamed the program the lateral partner acquisition and integration program. And we treated it much like Apple or Google or any of them would treat their acquisitions.”

Sanger and Brown also touch on the importance of integrating newly acquired practices or firms into the existing business. Sanger emphasizes the need for planning and a program management office to ensure a smooth transition, while Brown shares his success with where hist firm had one of the highest lateral retention rates in the market due to the strategic approach and focus on integration.

Looking into the future, Sanger envisions law firms as technology-enabled platforms, providing a wider range of services, while Brown expresses concerns about the reluctance of law departments and law firms to prioritize standardized business processes over the individual preferences of frontline lawyers. Despite their differing perspectives on the future, both agree that a focus on strategy, client experience, and growth through mergers and acquisitions will be crucial for the success of law firms moving forward.

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Contact Us:

Twitter: ⁠⁠@gebauerm⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠@glambert⁠⁠
Voicemail: 713-487-7821
Music: ⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠


Continue Reading Rethinking Law Firm Strategy: The Road to Growth and Success with Toby Brown and Nita Sanger (TGIR Ep. 200)

With Thanksgiving falling on a Thursday this year… wait, I’m being told that it does that every year… we decided to release a panel discussion that Greg moderated with the General Counsel from McDonald’s, Fannie Mae, Western Union, and Tyson Foods. The discussion ranges from where these GCs are expanding their search for talent, to truly increasing diversity both in their outside law firms as well as looking at their own diversity ranks, to retaining talent by improving the overall structure of the workplace.
  • Desiree Ralls-Morrison, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, McDonald’s
  • Terry Theologides, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Fannie Mae
  • Caroline Tsai, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Western Union
  • Amy Tu, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Tyson Foods
Special thanks to Reuters Events for allowing us to share this discussion with our listeners. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 138 – Cultivating and Retaining the Next Generation of Legal Talent

On this episode of The Geek in Review, Anusia Gillespie, the US Head of Innovation at Eversheds Sutherland, sits down with us this week to discuss what she refers to as the “New Big Law” market’s inverted approach to innovation. In a market filled with problem solvers, sometimes the innovation we create solves a problem first, and then sets out to find the problem for this solution. Gillespie finds that innovation is disciplined and structured in its approach, but broad and creative in its thinking. Innovation definitely doesn’t live in any one discipline. Innovative solutions might require technology expertise, but it could just as well only require professional development expertise or strict legal expertise. She’s convinced that we need to move away from this type of anchoring bias to ensure that, in this time of rebuilding law into New Big Law, legal innovators finally design and implement correct and smart solutions. With the various professionals needed to identify problems, and create solutions, you need leadership, structure, a bit of fun mixed in, and a champion-forward approach. We dive into issues ranging from an overview of how Eversheds defines innovation to case studies of Gillespie’s publication on smart solutions for lateral recruitment and lateral onboarding.

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Information Inspirations
There are five very good podcast recordings from Legal Talk Networks “On the Road” series from the American Association of Law LIbraries (AALL) conference in Washington, DC. Interviews include a number of AALL members, such as, DIana Koppang, Jean O’Grady, Steve Lastres, and Catherine Monte, and other innovators like Dean Sonderegger, Gabe Teninbaum, and others. Check it out! Subscribe to it (and to The Geek in Review whle you’re at it!!)

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 46: Anusia Gillespie on the New Big Law’s Innovation Confusion Disorder

Last Wednesday, my wife and I were on day 3 of a 4 day Vermont cheese and maple syrup tour.  It was about noon on the hottest day of the year and we were driving down Route 35, about 30 miles from anywhere you’ve ever heard of, when I took a sharp corner and quickly

Sticking to our recruiting theme for this week, I thought I’d address the issue of recruiting lateral partners.  According to Vivia Chen at The American Lawyer, during the first twelve months of the Great Recession there was a movement of “2,775 partners [who]  left or joined the biggest firms in the country.”  That’s a