Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January = yikes!

Blogging has admittedly slowed to a crawl lately, especially here on the VLLB. Normally I would chalk it up to things being busy over at Stem, but this is not a 'unique to Steve' situation. It's more of a legal industry in general situation. (and perhaps other industries too...)

Having spoken to many colleagues over the years, the comments are consistent. If your work (or business) plays a support role to lawyers, you probably already know this to be true... January is one of two peak periods for the legal industry. The other being September.

The easy analysis is to say 'new years' for January and 'back to school/work - summer holidays guilt' for September. And I do believe that's part of it.

Interestingly, however, I suspect our legal vertical may push this situation to an extreme for a number of reasons:
  • Billable hour / WIP - the need to re-fill the funnel;
  • Non-billable work needs to get done - for many busy lawyers, this is an opportunity that too infrequently presents itself;
  • Firm/PG/lawyer plans - just like new year's resolutions, Jan & Sept are prime times for business planning;
  • Budgets & budget review time - connected to planning, but another course adjustment that needs periodic review.
I'm sure there are others... but suffice to say a lot of non-billable projects and new innovation (or planning for innovation) seems to take place in January. Rounding up examples from my own world, over the course of the past month, Stem has:
Are things busy? You bet. But I can't say things are any more busy than when I was in-house. Just different. ... And yes, if you haven't figured it out by now, this is my 'many excuses for not blogging' post.

I hope to get back in the saddle shortly. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clawbies Final Roundup