Patrick Lamb

Patrick Lamb

Valorem Law Group LLC

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Kudos to Jeff Carr

Regular readers know that Jeff Carr, the General Counsel of FMC Technologies, is my mentor, my client and my friend. Our relationship evolved in that order. I am very proud of each of these steps in the growth of our personal...more

7/11/2014 - Client Services

Focus on “shadow hours” misses the point of AFAs

Aric Press of American Lawyer penned a terrific article, What the Rise of Pricing Officers Says About Big Law’s Future. The article, reflecting the results of a recent survey, offers some great insights into the move to...more

7/7/2014 - Billing Corporate Counsel Law Practice Management Young Lawyers

The Three P’s Shortchanges What’s Necessary to Bring Value To Clients

I ran across an interesting article in Attorney at Work, Trends in Legal Pricing and Project Management. The article reported on the recent P3 Conference offered by the Legal Marketing Association. The three P’s are pricing,...more

6/23/2014 - Law Practice Management

Life without email? Maybe.

Fascinating article in today’s Wall Street Journal, A Company Without Email? Not So Fast. The article features companies that have tried to do their work without email and addresses how hard it has been to accomplish that...more

6/19/2014 - Email Young Lawyers

Declining number of lawyers in NYC. Where is work going?

The number of attorneys employed full time by the largest private law offices in New York continues to decline, a trend that began with the 2008 financial crisis, according to data gathered for the New York Law Journal’s...more

6/17/2014 - Young Lawyers

Words of Client Service Wisdom from Mad Men’s Don Draper

I ran across an infographic in Inc. that captured my attention—16 Brilliant Marketing Quotes from Don Draper. As a fan of the show, how could I not read the quotes? As I read them, I couldn’t help wonder if the lines from the...more

6/10/2014 - Business Development

Ten ideas for better depositions

I recently became involved in a case where all the depositions had already been taken. The opposing lawyers were partners in a very large, very well-known law firm. And my predecessors on the case came from a firm with a...more

4/28/2014 - Depositions Young Lawyers

Partners can no longer claim to be victims

The principal victims of this phenomenon have been those lawyers who become trapped in the culture of short-termism. That culture is especially rampant among the prestigious big firms, where, as a group, lawyers are the...more

1/2/2014

10 Value Questions Inside Counsel Should Be Asking Themselves

1. Has your management mandated (or gently suggested) that you reduce your spend on litigation? Would it be a good career move if you achieved a reduction in total spend? 2. Do your law firms spend more than the...more

12/27/2013 - Corporate Counsel Legal Costs

Kaye Scholer’s clients need to check their bills

Another law firm has motivated its associates to spend more time rather than less getting their work done. Kaye Scholer is paying upwards of $20,000 in additional bonuses to those who exceed 2,200 hours per year. The firm’s...more

12/13/2013 - Big Law Billable Hours Bonuses Law Firm Associates Law Firm Partners

Some still doubt value of client satisfaction interviews

I am flabbergasted. I just opened up my first email this morning. It is from Joyce Smiley at JKS Company, and she sends a periodic report, also published online, Verbatim, What Clients Say. The lead paragraph...more

12/3/2013 - Surveys

Some free advice to recent law grads

For reasons entirely unbeknownst to me, professors, law deans and others in law school frequently refer law school grads to me to suggest approaches to the legal workforce....more

8/26/2013 - Law School Students

It’s hard to make this stuff up

Michael Rynowecer writes as “The Mad Clientist” and his latest post, Outtakes for the Client Service Laboratory makes you wonder just what kind of drug-induced haze so many seem to live in. Take these two examples...more

7/18/2013 - Attorney's Fees Client Services Extortion Fraud Legal Costs

Great insights on patchwork mentors

The latest insight from my partner, Nicole Auerbach, in her monthly feature, Insights From The Corner Office (even though she voluntarily gave up her corner office for more windows and a better view)...more

7/16/2013 - Business Development Career Development

Nicole Auerbach and lessons from a middle office with a view

My partner Nicole Auerbach, proud owner of a middle office, recounts the lessons learned when she voluntarily gave up her corner office, and also those from some other risks she’s taken along the way. This is her story, as...more

6/17/2013 - Career Development Law Firm Partners Law Practice Management Women in the Law

Hugely successful GC on the role of Value Fees in highly successful law departments

With his permission, I want to share with you a note I received from Ken Grady, the former General Counsel of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and architect of the astonishingly successful Wolverine law department and its...more

6/3/2013 - Attorney's Fees Legal Costs Value-Based Fees

A Thousand Dollars Per Hour: Wrong Focus

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the increasing number of BigLaw partners charging more than $1000 per hour. My thoughts on hourly billing are well know, but the criticism of these rates as excessive misses the...more

4/15/2013 - Attorney's Fees Billable Hours

BigLaw tries to sell the Brooklyn bridge

Just ran across an article in Today’s General Counsel on choosing between litigation and arbitration. There are many factors that go into a decision to pursue one or the other, but this paragraph caught my eye...more

4/8/2013 - Arbitration Discovery Legal Costs Litigation Strategies Risk Assessment Settlement

The Premise of Pricing

I am frequently asked how I go about pricing the handling of a lawsuit. I am always tempted to answer with the old line, “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.” My real answer goes something like this: “Before...more

4/1/2013 - Attorney's Fees Billing Legal Costs

Simple questions a client can ask to expose dirty little secrets

Everyone claims to offer fee structures that are alternatives to the billable hour. Frequently, these “alternatives” are nothing more than estimated hours x hourly rates, plus “a little cushion.” So clients should...more

4/1/2013 - Attorney's Fees Billable Hours Document Review Project Management

DLA bill padding scandal; “I’m shocked”

This week we learned that a client of DLA Piper had counter-sued the firm because it [allegedly] overbilled him. Much has been written about the emails from one DLA lawyer to another with the salacious quotes: “churn that...more

3/29/2013 - Big Law False Billing

Customer Service Insights from other industries

I have often observed that when presented with an idea from outside the law, lawyers are almost reflexively dismissive. After immediate dismissal of such ideas, lawyers then tend to exercise their legal skills to develop...more

3/18/2013 - Business Development Marketing

Another example of “just not getting it”

The prior post contains a link to a story discussing one of Disney’s key philosophies–”It’s not my fault, but it is my problem.” When a park patron shares a problem with a Disney employee, it doesn’t matter that the employee...more

3/18/2013 - American Airlines Business Development Customer Service Standard Marketing

Corporate Executive Board identifies 9 efficiency trends in legal

I ran across a terrific post by Sampriti Ganguli of Corporate Executive Board, 9 Efficiency Trends to Watch for in Legal. The author identified the source of the conclusions drawn "As we reflect back on this past year, it’s...more

2/25/2013 - Business Development Corporate Counsel Corporate Executive Boards

Non-help help worse than no help at all

Sadly, most of my worst customer experiences come from my preferred airline. It’s sad because I fly. A lot. You might think that being an elite flyer for the past 15 years might count for something, but then again airlines...more

2/25/2013 - Business Development Client Services

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