The book I published with my co-author, Dave Maxfield, The Lean Law Firm: Run Your Firm Like the World’s Most Efficient and Profitable Businesses, sold more copies than any ABA-published book this year or last at TECHSHOW.
It turns out we may have introduced the right topic at the right time: Dan Katz mentioned lean processes in his keynote address at TECHSHOW, and the session I lead with Dave had more than 100 attendees. The publications board had to borrow my personal stash of books when they sold out of theirs, and two law school professors told me they were going to assign the book to their students.
It was very rewarding and validating to see this reaction after working on the book for so long. Don’t get me wrong: Seeing a finished book with your name on it is very cool. However, it’s way more exciting to know that the ideas we are expressing may have influence in the way people practice law.
For me, a non-attorney software engineer who works with thousands of law firms, it means that sharp thinkers in the legal profession are finally waking up to the way of doing things that I’ve been discussing at CLEs for years. Meanwhile, the interest in the book suggests that the lean techniques that Dave has developed at his consumer law firm are not only effective but worthy of emulation.
This also reinforces the interest in Rocket Project Management, our new legal project management module. Rocket Project Management allows law firms to define phases for their cases with corresponding tasks, calendar events, and custom data, and it lets them define a flow to a case. You can even set time limits on phases to see which are on schedule and which are overdue.
As Dave and I mention in the book, it is time to bring law firms into the age of scientific management. It is more than 100 years overdue. The more firms can work towards understanding their key performance indicators and how to manage a firm efficiently and in a lean way, the more profitable they will become.