The Baker & the Shepherd Pie

The last month has been particularly busy with Ron Baker returning to Australia for the 5th time in the last 18 months, again speaking to and working with firms who are working on being a Firm of the Future instead of a firm of the past.

No sooner had Ron left our sunny (?) shores and I was very fortunate to host Jay Shepherd founder of The Shepherd Law Group and author of the Award winning blogsite The Client Revolution. If you have not previously read or subscribed to Jay's blog take a look now...I am sure you will be impressed.

Jay was out here principally as a Key Note speaker at the ALPMA Summit held a couple of weekends ago in Sydney. Jay told the 180 attendees that you can run a law firm by pricing your services up front and you can run a law firm without keeping timesheets as Jay has done for the last 4 years.

As you can imagine there was plenty of discussion and debate at the ALPMA Summit and of course notwithstanding Jay (and thousands of others like Jay who do not price by time) many in attendance continued to either adopt the Ostriche pose or distinguish their practices and clients from Jay's. An ever increasing minority however embraced Jay's approach and besieged him with questions seeking advice as to how they too can become a FIrm of The Future.

Speaking of debate I assume any professional seriously interested in moving away from time billing already subscribes to The Verasage and Ron Baker blogs but in case there is anyone out there who does not can I refer you to links to these two recent posts that repeat yet again compelling reasons why law firms should not only move away from time based billing but burn their timesheets.Recording time-especially in mind numbing 6 minute increments- is just plain meaningless not to mention valueless and a worthless waste of our intellectual capital.Most of us were addicted to timesheets at one stage and unfortunately many lawyers and accountants still are-even some of those that no longer price by time for reasons I cannot quite comprehend. Perhaps it is simply a transition for some (after all many firms have invested hundreds of thousands of $ into their time based practice management systems and it could be embarrassing for some in the firm if all of a sudden such expensive investment is pronounced redundant?) and not everyone has the courage to go "cold turkey".I suspect some professionals still retain timesheets in the mistaken-but genuine- belief that time is how we assess the "cost" we have invested in a matter or a client.Read these posts and please tell me I or the authors are completely wrong.