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You can reject the false gold of “best practices” but still point out “bad practices”

I am a broken record on my mistrust of the term “best practice” (See my post of March 20, 2009: seven charges against best practices.).

At the same time, no relativist I where anything goes, some practices I condemn as mistaken. Not to review bills from law firms that charge by the hour would be one, since everything from innocent errors to deliberate fraud could happen. Not to produce basic reports well from a matter management system would be a serious flaw. Not to praise and encourage lawyers and staff who do well holds back a law department. And so on I could pile up the slag heap of managerial missteps.

But you can’t turn a bad practice inside out and claim that not doing it is a best practice. Reviewing bills, reporting from database, and recognizing achievements are hardly best practices. They are solid, middle-of-the road, expected practices. If there are exemplary practices, and this too I firmly believe even if they are not “best,” they must dramatically improve on the staples. For an article by me on best practices, click here.

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