Money and Meaning in the Modern Law Firm

After the 2008 economic crisis, the legal profession in the US (and indeed in many Western economies) has found itself at an inflection point. Whereas prior to 2008, revenue and clients were fairly plentiful, the economic crisis brought a drastic reduction in demand for the services of large law firms. In order to adapt to a low to no growth market, many law firms have increased their focus on revenue generation and profitability. This change in environment has intensified concerns of some observers that law firms are becoming more of a business than a profession, which we believe is a false dichotomy. Drawing on interviews with over 250 large law firm partners conducted between 2009-2016, we explore how law firms and law firm partners seek to stay competitive while at the same time maintaining the professionalism that drew many to practice law in the firm place. We focus in particular on the role of compensation and how values and meaning are conveyed through an extensive, subjective process of partner evaluation. We explore the sense making process that occurs through compensation and the role of compensation systems in preserving or destroying the glue the holds these fragile partnerships together.

  • Dr. Lisa H. Rohrer, Center for the Study of Legal Profession, Georgetown University
  • |
  • 2017-04-28

Global sourcing of Services: Strategies, Issues and Challenges

The world has gone through three waves of sourcing and we are on the cusp of fourth wave. These waves appear to parallel agricultural, industrial, information/Internet, and now the cloud age. It is crucial to pay attention to client as well as vendor, micro as well as macro, practitioner as well as researcher, MNCs as well as SMEs, issues. Four aspects of global sourcing are: Why, What, Where and How. Both clients and vendors need to comprehend the seven primary stages in the global sourcing life cycle (GSLC). A Two-Stage model recommends that a client company ought to choose an appropriate country and then the best fit vendor within the chosen country. It is critical to manage effectively communication and coordination for a satisfying long term client-vendor relationship in a global souring project. It is important to understand and manage social capital in the context of global sourcing of manufacturing or services to get the best overall value from offshore sourcing engagement. A thoughtful reflection would suggest that global sourcing of manufacturing and services would reduce economic inequities in the world. When young minds are engaged in productive and satisfying endeavors, they can contribute to world peace and harmony and not be enticed by destructive forces.

  • Prof. Shailendra C. Jain Palvia, Long Island University Post, New York (USA)
  • |
  • 2017-04-11

Wheels of power: Long-term effects of a one time targeted program

Expansion of opportunities for the female child may impact her aspirations given the prevailing social norms. Furthermore, the new social equilibrium arising from this expansion feeds back into the social norms. We develop a theory that embeds these features to motivate our empirical analysis. We study the long-term rather than the immediate effect of a one-time targeted transfer to school going girls: the cycle program in the Indian state of Bihar that began in 2006. We use novel survey data for 10,000 girls and boys in three states- Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Using a triple-differences framework we find a girl with a cycle is more likely to complete school (22.9%) or college (5%) compared to a girl who did not get the cycle. We also found that girls with cycle are 4.1% less likely to be working in agriculture. Girls with cycles are more likely to report not getting permission to work outside and not finding suitable work as the main reason for not working. These findings together suggest a change in their aspirations but also highlight the need for follow-through policies to remove the additional bottlenecks.

  • Prof. Shabana Mitra, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
  • |
  • 2017-04-10