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Business people run up on the arrowMuch is written about law firm management, but there is little consideration of the objectives toward which you are trying to manage. That is not as straightforward a question as it may seem.

As senior partner of an international disputes boutique, I have represented large law firms and worked with lawyers at firms large and small all over the world. Private law firms are, of course, businesses and an important purpose of any business is to generate profit. But if you are practicing law just to make money, you are in the wrong business. Become an investment banker or run a hedge fund. When I graduated from law school, law was still a profession more than a business. Lawyers earned good incomes but did not earn like rock stars or professional athletes. Things have changed over the years, certainly in terms of the economics of the profession, but in many ways, we have lost many of the aspects of law practice that made for more satisfying careers, professional development and client service. I view a central goal of law firm management as managing to preserve many of those values for my colleagues as well as my clients.

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