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Launching our monthly round up of the things we’ve been reading (and you really ought to have been)… focusing on innovation, ideas, development and the future of marketing and business in the US and UK legal sector.

 

Big Brands = Big Business

On May 13 we heard from Larry Bodine of the Law Marketing Blog that branding is the key strand to business success. He said: ‘If a law office brand doesn’t send out the right message to the prospective client right from the very first viewing, quite simply its attorneys won’t be hired.’ Going further he gave a fantastic 7 point plan on how to create an effective branding strategy. Read his piece in full here.

And for the small firm lawyer, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you. As we read in April on Legal Future: ‘Brands are not just for big firms.’

 

Riverview Law lands business over Twitter

May 13 gave us reason to cheer: unequivocal proof that Twitter can deliver for your bottom line if you do it right. What happened? Well the head of Riverview Karl Chapman law got chatting with DMH Stallard over Twitter. One thing led to another and now the two firms have struck a strategic alliance. You can read a full write-up by Legal Futures here.

 

Understanding the client is the greatest challenge for lawyers in the coming 5 years

On May 15 we heard from the chair of Morrison Foerster, Larren Nashelsky that the great challenge for the lawyer in the next 5 years is the need to understand the client better.  You can read the interview in full here.

 

The billable hour is causing more problems

May 17 threw up a fantastic piece by the lawyerist who looked at the case between DLA Piper and a former client. The former client complaining that the work was overstaffed and overworked. Made worse by the fact that the discovery process unveiled an email saying, “churn that bill baby.” Not good. Certainly, gives weight to the argument that speaks of the Tyranny of the Billable Hour, as it was put in the New York Times.

 

Growth in the UK legal market will remain flat

On May 20 we heard from the Lawyer that despite the fact firms like Mishcon de Reya have posted soaring growth figures (read about the firm’s success here), this is not so typical for the rest of the UK legal economy. Or in blunter terms, as they put it:  “looking at all this you could be forgiven for thinking that growth has returned to the profession. Sadly, it is just a mirage.”

 

European Legal Market is divided between rich core and uncertain periphery

On May 21 we threw our eyes upon the European legal and feasting our eyes on the findings of the Lawyer’s European 100 ranking. The picture was one of pros and cons, and of a divided European legal market, not dissimilar to the state of the euro zone; with strength at the core (namely Germany) and weakness around the periphery.

 

Divide between AM 100 and AM 200 is larger than ever and growth will remain ‘slow’

On May 30 we heard from the American Lawyer that Second Hundred firms are waging on a hiring binge paying off. AM 100 hires has picked up but remains low at 0.8% for equity partners and 2.5% for non-equity partners. Though positive news can be drawn from the fact that growth in per-lawyer and per-partner metric has shown to be more robust. The outlook is uncertain but it does look like there is potential. In April we had earlier heard that while 2013 will be a year of ‘slow growth’, “slow and steady will win the race”.

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