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On 1 September 2002, Walker Clark LLC opened for business in Miami. 

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Many small and midsize law firms find themselves in some difficult -- and for most of them, unprecedented -- strategic predicaments. 

They also are confronted with a wide range of possibilities such as, mergers, Vereins, general and specialized networks, "best friends" relationships.

How can each firm make the decision that is best for them?

Wikipedia Commons image of the Sydney Opera House

The unpleasant truth is that the United States is rapidly falling behind most of the other developed countries in attacking the systemic social, legal, and economic causes of poverty.

On 9 October 2017, the International Bar Association will begin its working sessions with an in-depth examination of Poverty in the First World and the essential role of the legal profession in the final eradication of systemic poverty.

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Law firm leaders tell us “we now have to accept change as the status quo. And this means making judgment calls when there is insufficient time to find perfect solutions – or even to get all of the partners to agree.” 

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In her recent article (New York Times, 27 July 2017), Niraj Chokshi writes  “It’s a question central to daily life: Do you spend money to save time or spend time to save money?”

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Success starts when you have a goal?

Not necessarily.

Success is likely only when firms make the choices that are right for them.

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Pessimism can be a valuable tool for getting things done.

The next time you say to a colleague, “Stop being so negative!” it might be helpful to make sure the benefit of their pessimistic thinking has been fully appreciated and used.

If it has, the better question is then, "How can we bring some balance to this discussion by using both pessimistic and optimistic thinking skills and behaviors?"

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Most law firm leaders and managers watch their numbers very closely, but they often fail to notice how those numbers move.

Understanding variation in performance -- how the numbers move -- can provide profound insights into improving profitability.

The Giant by Goya [PD-US] public domain

From all the attention that "Big Law" is getting in the legal press and at legal conferences, one might erroneously assume that a relatively small number of large firms are destined to rule the legal world, and that smaller firms are irrelevant to the future of the legal profession.

Don't believe it.

Although being large can sometimes be an advantage, many small and midsize firms are competing successfully, and will continue to compete successfully, for high-value legal work.

So, what should a small or midsize local law firm do when an international giant comes to town?

By Georg Wilhelm Timm (1820-1895) [Public domain][PD-US], via Wikimedia Commons

Almost every law firm has some type of "about us" page on its website.

Have you ever considered what an honest "autobiography" of your firm would say?

Of course, it wouldn't be for publication, but it could be more important than what you publish to the world.