Scott Limmer

This week Reboot Your Law Practice hosts Ken Grady – “The Lean Law Evangelist” in the first of two part episode discussing how you make your practice “lean” so that it can withstand economic downturns and be less of a monetary roller coaster.

Ken is in charge of the Lean Law Practice at Seyfarth Shaw which helps the national, multi-faceted practice assist its clients in making their businesses leaner. Ken’s prior experience helped form his Lean Law Practice in that after being a partner in a BigLaw firm, he moved in-house to be corporate counsel for various Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 corporations. It was at these corporate positions that Ken first began to encounter “Lean Thinking” in the business world. He then joined Seyfarth Shaw where he serves as the consultant to their Lean Law Practice.

“Lean Thinking” is a business process improvement brought over to the states by Toyota in the 1980s that focuses on efficiency; cost control; and quality improvement. About 10 years ago, Seyfarth Shaw developed it for the practice of law. These methodologies when applied to legal services helps the firm better serve its clients and helps the firm develop best practices for things like conflict analysis; document production; and time management.

The focus is on an approach to make some things about your practice standard and organized so that you spend more time doing those things that are directly applicable to clients and which make money. The idea is to eliminate as many wasteful activities as possible to streamline the work you perform. While some software that is available in the market place can help you to do that, Ken advises that much of this can be done without buying expensive software.

Ken reminds us that lawyers are not quick to change. The systems we use now are basically the same systems we used in the 1900s when most of law was practiced by solo practitioners or two lawyer firms. Relying on those antiquated systems now – without focusing on efficiency and time management will make it much harder to compete in the current marketplace.

Next week Ken will finish his discussion with Oscar and Scott by talking about some specific things small firms and solo practitioners can do to get “Lean.”


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