- Paperback: 258 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1468057782
- ISBN-13: 978-1468057782
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,948,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Profit and the Practice of Law: What's Happened to the Legal Profession
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"What makes this book a must-read is Mike's keen perception of the current status of the profession and its attendant problems, as well as what may lie ahead for it without the changes he advocates. . . . All who value the profession would do well to study this book."
-The Honorable Griffin B. Bell Former Attorney General of the United States, Judge, United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Partner, King & Spalding
"Michael Trotter's book Profit and the Practice of Law is a very important book and should be widely read. It is extremely entertaining and readable and the more compelling for that. It should be read by American lawyers because it articulates what many are prepared to say privately about private law practice . . . . The Book should be read with great care in Europe . . . . It should be read and talked about by lawyers throughout the United States and abroad - 'private practice reform thyself."
-His Honor Judge John Toulmin CMG QC FKC, Past President of the European Bar Council (CCBE), and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the European Law Academy (ERA) 1997-2010, now Honorary Chairman for Life
"This book is both enjoyable and insightful. Michael Trotter can not only write well, but he has something to say. Thought and reflection are provoked on every page. Journalists, consultants, and numerous other outsiders have had a lot to say about law firms and law firm management. At last an insider, a reflective practitioner, gives us the inside view."
-David H. Maister Author of Managing the Professional Service Firm and True Professionalism, and a leading professional service firm consultant
"Mike Trotter has captured the essence of the evolution of major law firms in Atlanta (and around the country) from relatively small firms of lawyers who took professional pride in the quality of their work and in their roles as community leaders, to the very large law firms of today in which 'rainmakers' leverage the billable hours of associates to generate much larger profits than were ever dreamed of by their predecessors. In the process he very accurately describes the stress, fears, frustrations and ultimate dissatisfaction of many of the lawyers practicing in this system, as well as the rise of in-house law departments, all with a generous serving of historical facts related not only to law firm economics, but to the lifestyles of lawyers."
-Robert S. Harkey Retired Senior Vice President - General Counsel and Secretary Delta Air Lines, Inc.
"I think your book is the best analysis of what I know of the state of legal practice today and how it came about, and I am sending copies to everyone I think should read it."
-Louis J. Hector Former Senior Partner Steel Hector & Davis Miami, Florida
"I just finished your book, and I couldn't wait to tell you what a masterful job you've done. I rarely use the word "brilliant". . . but I can't think of a better way to describe your outstanding combination of scholarship and insight. Based on my own experience, I agree with every single one of your points. . . . What impressed me most was that, while I wasn't at all surprised by any of the factual data, I found the conclusions you drew from them nothing short of astounding. You have literally provided me with a structure for what were, until now, my noncohesive attitudes and beliefs about our profession and my own career."
-Jerold Zieselman Retired Partner Proskauer Rose LLP New York
"I have read your book from cover to cover, and found it engrossing. Your book chronicles graphically the transition from law partnership to 'big law service business' that has occurred in many firms that I know. It is a Must Read for lawyers in big firms and firms that want to become big firms, and, of course, in-house general counsels interested in obtaining quality legal services at reasonable cost. I would be surprised if the book is not required reading soon for first year law students across the country."
-John H. Cutler Retired Partner Heller Ehrman San Francisco
"Profit and the Practice of Law makes a strong contribution to the literature on contemporary law practice and, as a kind of autobiography, to our understanding of the history of the bar since World War II. . . . What I like most about this manuscript is the sure touch that the author has for his subject. He knows the practice of law, the world of Atlanta's business community, and the ways in which major business law firms operate. He also has a fine sense of the relationship of legal education to the major firms, the role played by the cost allocation and profit-center models that propel most firms, the impact of technology and 'economic opportunity' on the shape of the firms, and the impact of 'modern' legal accounting practices on the ways in which lawyers charge for their services and relate to one another. Indeed, in this regard, the book is something of a triumph."
-Kermit L. Hall Former Dean and Professor of History and Law College of Humanities Ohio State University
"I am writing to let you know what great pleasure I derive from knowing that I will be able to return home at the end of the day and read another dozen pages of your . . . book. It's GREAT! I find it so intellectually keen and revealing on a subject I thought I knew all about that I have been motivated to let you know. I have taught a course at Nova Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for almost 30 years in the history of the American legal profession and yet never managed to learn anything interesting about the transformation of not just the large, business firm but, really, the way the whole idea of being a lawyer is different now than it was back when I decided to go to law school."
-Anthony Chase Author of Law and History: The Evolution of the American Legal System
"Mike Trotter deftly combines scholarship, legal analysis and serious journalism to provide a candid and lively insider's view of how the law business has evolved over the past several decades. I learned a great deal from this revealing book and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the economics and mores of law firms and lawyers."
-Paul M. Barrett Assistant Managing Editor Bloomberg Businessweek, and author of GLOCK: The Rise of America's Gun
From the Back Cover
Since 1960, powerful and influential law firms in America have shifted from professional service organizations to profit-oriented businesses. To explain how and why this transformation has occurred and how it has affected both lawyers and clients, Profit and the Practice of Law examines the histories of the eight largest firms in Atlanta, Georgia, and similar firms around the country. Over the past thirty-six years, the number of lawyers in the United States has risen more than 225 percent, large law firms have grown by more than 700 percent, and compensation has increased greatly in excess of inflation. Ironically, as these firms have prospered, their lawyers have become unhappier and more dissatisfied, and the public has become more distrustful and disdainful of them. Profit and the Practice of Law discusses possible remedies for this malaise and what can be done to reduce the cost of legal services and to reform the practice of law for the benefit of clients, lawyers, and the community as a whole.
Top customer reviews
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Many authors have commented on this but few are as well placed to do so as Michael Trotter. He has served a working lifetime in an major Atlanta commercial law firm. He offers detailed chapter and verse for the suspicions that many of us intuitively felt but could not pin down. Trotter is unusual in that he has taken time out from the drudgery of racking up billable hours to reflect on what is happening to the legal profession and what that means for the profession and society.
For a man who has spent most of his life in the minutiae of clients' affairs, he has remarkable detachment and insight. I don't propose to lay out his thesis in depth but simply say that I found his comments profoundly perceptive and disturbing. Everything that he says about the changes in the practice of law in the United States, we too have seen in Britain. Again, the negative consequences of the transition of law firms from groupings of men of affairs and pillars of the community into legal technicians and businessmen, we have also seen in Britain.
Trotter explains how the single-minded pursuit of profit has a tremendous knock on effect. It reaches deep into the ways in which law is practiced and the way the public perceives the profession. The consequences are not just cosmetic but have profound consequences for access to justice, maintenance of professional standards, and the self-esteem of lawyers.
This book is strongly commended to all lawyers and is readily accessible to the lay reader.