A new book from the American Bar Association, “The Failing Law Firm: Symptoms and Remedies,” presents a detailed and straightforward look at how law firms operate and how they can go off track, leaving a trail of human resource, financial and other problems.
The book, written by Forbes columnist and legal recruiter David J. Parnell, is a must read for attorneys — whether freshly minted or seasoned — to better understand how even an established and prestigious national firm like Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP can collapse. “The Failing Law Firm” also provides valuable insight into law firm operations dealing with compensation, culture and governance while offering a fresh perspective on management and leadership pertinent to all professional services firms.
From a comprehensive pool of sources, Parnell dissects the failures of 42 firms, including the 1995 collapse of Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon LLP, the legal home of former President Richard Nixon with a history dating to 1869. One of the purposes in writing this book, he says, is for lawyers to recognize red flags suggesting law firms are headed into trouble. “It is not enough to know that your firm has a relatively unified and homogenous culture,” he writes. “You need to know if the firm’s strategy is one that will achieve full buy-in from that culture.”
Parnell is co-founder and principal of Edward, Anthony & Steele, LLC, a New York-based legal recruiting and coaching firm. A political science graduate of the University of Rochester, he has more than 18 years of executive recruiting and coaching experience and is a regular online columnist for Forbes magazine, where he covers the business, politics and psychology of big law.
Title: “The Failing Law Firm: Symptoms and Remedies”
Product Code: 5190502
Orders: Order at ShopABA.org or by phone at 800-285-2221
Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies are available by sending an email to
Kelly Keane at Kelly.Keane@americanbar.org . If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Kelly Keane, American Bar Association, Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.
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