Monthly Archives: May 2014

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”

From the law firm consultants, Beaton Capital comes a post entitled : “What William Shakespeare and BigLaw business model firms have in common.”  Optimism

The Shakespeare is: “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” – Hamlet.

OK, now it’s time for some optimism. I’ve got some.

One key is don’t be a big firm.

Another is: Do what lawyers were meant to do. So many consultants with their diagnoses of doom are focused on lines of work that rose up among lawyers only relatively recently. Those lines of work tend to be “processing” in fields that lawyers got into in the first place because they were the only ones who knew what to do. Well now others know what to do, there is a lot more of that kind of work, and there are new tools. So lawyers don’t need to do it. Some firms may need to retool and to re-price. Law schools that graduated lawyers dependent on that work for employment, the same.

But there’s still the work we came here to do — not, the processing, but the problem solving. And that is out there for every kind of client — from low-resourced individuals to international business organizations. We boldly go where problems need solutions and answers are not easy.

And there also remain emerging opportunities for persons trained as lawyers to manage this processing work. Maybe in the context of law firms; maybe not. From my, mid-sized, middle market perspective though, that work is still growing. There are opportunities. Pricing may be changing, but this is the kind of work where you can make it up on volume.

Anyway, I like the quotation from Hamlet. It’s better than, “When it rains, it pours.” I just don’t buy that we are faced with battalions of sorrows right now. Only spies — and we can take’em. Brooks Pierce can.