Ten standout posts from May 2011

Here are my choices for the most interesting posts from two months ago.

Sorry, it’s perfectly fine if a firm sets a fee based on estimated hours of work (May 8, 2011)
Estimated hours represent a solid basis for a flat fee. Moreover, a flat fee, however derived, differs enormously from hourly fees.

Loss of lawyer collaboration but gain in client support if lawyers are scattered in small offices (May 10, 2011)
Lawyers next door to their clients probably create more value than lawyers next door to their lawyer colleagues.

It’s so hard for lawyers to learn from mistakes, and five reasons why (May 14, 2011)
Emotional unpleasantness, little tolerance for causal ambiguity, a bias to seek confirming evidence, and other factors.

Debilitation in deliberation: groups suffer from some major weaknesses (May 17, 2011)
The shortcomings of groups when they deliberate.

The Condorcet Jury Theorem and the wisdom of informed groups (May 19, 2011)
The probability that a group of informed people will arrive at a correct answer to a factual question increases toward 100 percent as the size of the group increases.

Collective inactivity because of personal cost benefit analysis stymies many departmental initiatives (May 19, 2011)
The individual benefit to a person is too often felt not to outweigh the potential cost of action.

With broken pottery or otherwise, cut back on the least productive processes (May 20, 2011)
Collected a number of your processes and let members of the department vote to end or modify the least useful.

Add more precision to your estimates, which clients like, and follow the three steps of Kraft Foods (May 24, 2011)
Define what your lawyers mean when they use non-quantified terms such as “strong probability,” “poor chance,” and “pretty good odds.”

You can end up paying more for the same services even with a rate freeze in place (May 29, 2011)
Firms may end up with more senior lawyer time on similar matters than before the freeze.

Knowledge management efforts work best at the practice group level (May 30, 2011)
If a department has several lawyers who practice in the same area of law, that group will have a far better chance of implementing some kind of knowledge capture and dissemination.

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