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THE LEADERSHIP ISSUE

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October/November 2008 Issue | Volume 34 Number 7| Page 4
 

PERSPECTIVES

News from Section Chair, Walt Karnstein


A perk of leadership took place during this year’s ABA Annual Meeting when I had the privilege of talking baseball with one of the Yankees’ biggest fans, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, during a unique program developed by the Law Practice Management Section and kindly hosted at the offices of Bracewell & Giuliani in midtown Manhattan.

For many years, LPM has been a mainstay of information and knowledge for solo practitioners and small firms, and more recently, we have increasingly sought to provide content and programming for larger firms as well. Last year, our inaugural Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference in Washington, D.C., focused on the midsize to large firm. When the biannual conference takes place again November 12-13, 2009, in Philadelphia, it will once again provide relevant topical information to that important Section demographic. However, our program this past August was the start of something entirely different and unique in focus.

Taking advantage of our Annual Meeting location in New York City, we invited chairs and managing partners of some of the largest law firms in the country to a management roundtable discussion. What really made the program compelling was our assurance to attendees that the audience would be comprised only of leaders of New York’s largest firms and members of our executive committee in a closed meeting setting. The program would be confidential, in terms of attendance and discussion, to provide a forum that allowed for open and unfiltered discussion. Nobody was charging anything, and there were no sponsors and no set agenda. Just a chance for colleagues to discuss pressing law firm management topics in a private setting.

The issues facing these firms opened our eyes to areas that the Section needs to address more fully. Appropriate members of our executive committee facilitated the conversation in line with our four core topic areas. Chair-Elect Micah Buchdahl handled marketing; Vice Chair Andrea Hartley discussed management; Secretary Tom Mighell focused on technology; and our Finance Committee Director Ed Flitton discussed finance.

I would like to extend special thanks to Bracewell & Giuliani’s New York managing partner Daniel S. Connolly and firm marketer Rachel Silverman for hosting the management roundtable and providing assistance with logistics.

We look forward to continuing this program during upcoming ABA meetings. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please drop me a line. As to the baseball discussion, we’ll keep those opinions private as well.

About the Author

Walt Karnstein, Chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, is a partner and an intellectual property attorney with Kolisch Hartwell in Portland, OR.

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