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Hale and Dorr

Essay by   •  November 10, 2018  •  Case Study  •  815 Words (4 Pages)  •  152 Views

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Case Summary

By: Abdullah Majeed

Hale and Dorr is a Boston-based, general practice firm that provides legal services to different corporations. Unlike the boutique firms that specializes in a certain area, Hale and Dorr serves as the one stop shop for its clients. Also, it claims its advices to be superior because it also advises its clients about other areas of their company and current market situation.

Hale and Dorr was organized into ten practice areas namely corporate, litigation, tax, labor and employment, intellectual property, environmental, real estate, government and regulatory, real estate, commercial, and private client. All of these were further divided into approximately thirty-five practice groups that in turn focused on key industries. The chairperson of every department ensured a meeting was held once a month to discuss the progress of Hale and Dorr. Apart from this, a number of regular meetings were held within the firm’s marketing team to discuss day-to-day operations.

Previously, Hale and Dorr focused solely on brainpower when it came to recruiting new lawyers in the firm. However, the aforementioned hiring strategy has now expanded to include demonstrated evidence of teamwork, leadership and personal skills. The most junior attorneys were the called Associate, and they were fresh graduates from law schools. Later, they were given professional training in areas such as time management, writing and speaking. The associates received two formal evaluations: after five or six years for Junior Partner and after another three or four years for Senior Partner.

Traditionally, Hale and Dorr used the Smith System to compensate its partners. It used a rigid formulae that considered seniority, hours billed, new business generated and the percentage of revenue that went uncollected. As opposed to expectations, the Smith System led to various inefficiencies. The lawyers failed to work as a team and tended to maximize the value of business generated. Later, the Smith System was replaced with a newer system based on one’s performance against an individually-prepared set of objectives.

The method of billing adopted by Hale and Dorr was the usual way each of recording the number of hours worked by the employees and applying an hourly rate to these figures. Despite the fact it has been used commonly by other companies, it is has a number of disadvantages. Firstly, the amount was only a measure of the quantity of the time out forth in the client’s interest. It did not account for the quality of that labor. Secondly, it also did not reward directly productivity improvements.

When an employee in a company recognizes a need for legal representation, it puts forward its request of purchasing legal services. In most of the large and medium sized firms, General Carousel, an in-house attorney, is in the buying center that makes important decisions regarding purchases. There is a strict criteria set that helps GC to make his decisions. For example, the attorney should be trustworthy, committed, expert, experienced, and likeable.



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