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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Take Your Law Firm|to the World Series

It's baseball playoff time and once again the obvious question springs to mind: How can baseball show us how to build a winning law firm?

The answer by now should be obvious: analytics.

The younger, tech-savvy lawyers in your firm should appreciate this. You need data-driven reasons for the hiring and placement of each of your fielders - er, lawyers.

After all, does it make sense to put a macho-peacock partner in charge of a deposition if the stats show he freezes up when the opposing pitcher (questioner) is female?

And is the guy who claims the huge number of billable hours on paper really worth paying more than the nerdy guy at the computer console who hits the home run in the clutch?

This could and should radically change the way lawyers are compensated - and create a lively free agency and trade market.

Obviously, the Ivy League and MIT/CalTech executives you hire as general managers will have their own formulas for building a contender, but I have a few suggestions.

First off, you need video cameras or their equivalent everywhere.

I say "equivalent" because you may have a hard time getting the cameras into critical areas such as courthouses, restaurants, and the back seat of cars (a favored spot for negotiation and client consultation).

The best solution for the courthouse/restaurant situation is to require that all members of your firm be accompanied by a sketch artist. Make sure your artists are trained to capture dramatic moments and eye movement.

As for the cars - think body cameras. Then keep careful records showing when they've been turned off.

You'll also need to scout other firms and law students.

Getting permission for cameras in law schools shouldn't be a problem - endow a few scholarships and point out that this could lead to jobs for graduates.

Knowing which statistics to compile is also critical.

Here are a few important categories:

Grade point average in relation to apparent number of friends.

Amount of texting during class.

The ratio of initial complaint page count to days until settlement.

Percentage of objections sustained in winning and losing cases.

Eye contact with and/or winking at judge.

Number of clients who actually pay their bills.

Effectiveness while dressed in pantsuits as opposed to dresses or kilts.

Are clients more successful when seated on the left or right of the attorney?

Days in jail for contempt.

Cases won/lost while having affairs with associates.

If "Moneyball" taught us anything, it's that Jonah Hill can do serious acting. It also taught us that you don't need to spend a fortune to put together a winning team.

And once it wins, you can trade your players for a new crop of hidden talent.

Let the other guys spend a fortune on free agents.

Curse Me: Speaking of money, I would like to be denounced.

Surely you must think I've done something wrong. I do think I'm perfect, but you can falsely accuse me of something.

The more scandalous the better.

I'll deny it, of course, but that won't stem your righteous rage.

Come on! Bring it on!

I want to be well-funded.

I'm speaking, of course, of the recent Planned Parenthood brouhaha. I don't have statistics for this (because what fun would that be?) but I'm pretty sure Planned Parenthood donations have gone way up since the organization has been denounced for selling baby parts or whatever.

This is the way things go. The way to successfully attack anything is to ignore it. And the best way to fame is to be attacked.

You know I'm right. There are zillions of examples.

I'm old enough to remember people wanting to boycott "Married With Children."

Suddenly it became a hit.

Now consider Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.

So please attack me. I dress badly and I'm overweight. There's good material here.

Thank you.

I am now going to ignore Donald Trump.

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