Navigating the Perfect Storm: Recruiting, Training and Retaining Lawyers in the Coming Decade Now Available in Paperback

Navigating the Perfect Storm: Recruiting, Training and Retaining Lawyers in the Coming Decade (Ark Press, 2010)

Now Available in Paperback 


          The first printing of my book, Navigating the Perfect Storm:  Recruiting, Training and Retaining Lawyers in the Coming Decade has now sold out in hard cover.  My publisher has now released an unabridged paperback edition, priced at $45.00.

The recession has rocked the legal profession, and old game plans for recruitment, training and retention will no longer work. Navigating addresses these issues.

Navigating the Perfect Storm will enable you to re-examine your current recruitment, training and retention processes of both law school graduates and lateral partners to ensure that your  firm is in a better position to anticipate future needs while remaining competitive in a challenging market. It looks at the key strategies needed to exploit the lessons that have been learned and the opportunities that lay ahead on topics including:

  • Developing new skills including Project Management
  • Changing client demands  
  • Alternative Fee Arrangements
  • Convergence
  • Marketing
  • New-graduate recruitment   
  • Shortcomings in law school education  
  • Lateral Partner Recruitment
  • Recruiting Practice Groups
  • Opening Branch Offices
  • Merger Integration Plans
  •  Lateral Associate Recruitment  
  • Training first and second year associates  
  • Ongoing professional development needs  
  • Outsourcing, Downsourcing and Insourcing
  • Morale, motivation, and compensation  
  • Associate attrition and retention

The reviews for Navigating have been uniformly sensational:

“Jerry Kowalski offers an insider’s insight into issues that are affecting the practice of law and the business of law firms in very important ways.  This book is a valuable addition to the discussion about the future that is taking place today among leaders of the legal profession and at law firms across the country.”

Steve Younger, President New York State Bar Association, and Partner, Patterson, Belknap & Tyler 

“Law firms and clients face an unprecedented period of change and opportunity.  Jerome Kowalski does a terrific job of laying out the context of that change, providing a roadmap for firms and individual lawyers to win by developing the human capital that is at the heart of the legal profession.”

Paul Lippe, CEO, Legal OnRamp

“Kowalski has written a succinct but thorough review of the current upheaval in the business of providing legal services and a great guide for lawyers and firms wrestling with the challenges ahead. He shows how the assumptions and practices of the past won’t work in the new economic environment and provides compelling and practical models for moving forward. I highly recommend this book.”

Paul V. LiCalsi, Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

“Jerome Kowalski’s book, Navigating the Perfect Storm” is both important and easy reading for lawyers and prospective lawyers. Time and again I found myself recognizing the validity of a point made or a conclusion implicit in the statement of the obvious and then asking myself why I had not focused on that before.

Anyone engaged in or seeking to enter the private practice of the law, in these difficult times (and, likely, equally uncertain future times) should take the time to read this book. It persuasively states problems that plague us today–with thousands of lawyers either un-employed or under-employed- and does so without pulling any punches. It deflates egos and debunks myths, including those perpetuated by law schools and recruiters.  Indeed, anyone considering a career at the Bar as a means to financial success should  consider the obstacles Kowalski carefully points out.

Sadly, Kowalski’s book fortifies  those that argue that the practice of the law is no longer the “noble profession” we embarked upon years ago, but is (and perhaps has for years increasingly been) a business and a damn difficult one at that. As such lawyers hoping to succeed  must increasingly demonstrate not just considerable ability, but also employ the financial skills of hard-nosed businessmen, the audacity, imagination and perseverance of marketing professionals, the managerial discipline of paper clip counters and the crystal ball of a fortune teller to divine where and how profitable legal business can properly be generated, its delivery efficiently and cost-effectively managed, and clients assured and reassured. And all this must be accomplished  in an atmosphere that maintains high ethical standards, in a genuinely collegial atmosphere and with some semblance of rationality and fundamental decency. No easy task and not one we were trained to perform. 

I recommend this book highly to every managing partner, hiring partner, law school career counselor and, indeed, it is must reading for any undergraduate contemplating spending three years and upwards of $150,000 for a law degree.”

Charles G. Moerdler, Chairman Emeritus, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

“This insightful book draws on the author’s vast experience as a large firm lawyer and law firm management consultant. In succinct, readable fashion, he outlines where America’s biggest law firms have been, where they are, and where they might be going in a fast-changing environment. From law students to senior partners, anyone seeking a better understanding of this important segment of the profession will benefit from the author’s guided journey.” 

 –Steven J. Harper, author of “The Partnership — A Novel” and other books, contributor to “The American Lawyer,” adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s School of Law and Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, editor of “The Belly of the Beast” blog, and recently retired partner of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

“Jerry is right on in his assessment; Big Law is still responding to change as oppose to innovating, unlike their clients, which is unusual in light of the brain power that resides in the industry. If you are in the law business, you must read Jerry’s book and then, give him a call. It is worth your time to pick an expert’s creative brain!”

Randolph Tom, Executive Chairman, Dynasty Capital Services

“Kowalski has written a concise and thorough analysis of the current economic upheaval and how lawyers and firms are grappling with the ever-changing landscape in these difficult times. The book provides an excellent guide for lawyers and law firms coming to grips with all of the issues, old and new, affecting every practitioner. Kowalski shares his insights into how the assumptions and longstanding models on which we used to rely simply have little relevance in today’s current environment, and is able to provide his readers with methods to adapt those models to meet the current and future challenges we all face. I commend Jerry on his wonderful contribution and highly recommend his book”

LAUREN J. WACHTLER, Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

“I very much enjoyed reading Navigating the Perfect Storm. It is thought-provoking and insightful, and made me think in a different way about all the issues that every large law firm is facing these days.”

Aurora Cassirer, Member Executive Committee, Managing Partner, New York office, Troutman Sanders, LLP

“Law is no longer just a ‘noble profession'”.  It is also a business – a business that sometimes makes sense yet other times does not.  Law firms will need to change hiring practices, billing practices and client cultivation techniques in order to survive.  And many will not.  These are some of the conclusions reached by Jerry Kowalski in his eye-opening new book, “Navigating the Perfect Storm”.  Should be read by lawyers, clients and especially prospective lawyers, i.e. law students.  After reading Kowalski’s book, you wonder whether students should be encouraged to turn to banking or private equity or hedge funds since they are using many of the same business skills in legal practice but for much simpler rewards”

Philip Rosen, Partner,  Chair , Hospitality and Gaming Practice, Co-chair Real Estate Department,  Weil, Gotshal & Manges. 


            How to order:  Go to this link.


7 Responses

  1. Great to hear! Now if only it was available on the kindle or in EPUB format.

  2. Why would lawyer recruitment and retention be a problem, given the huge GLUT of lawyers we have?

  3. […] is a brief overview of due diligence issues (more regarding this topic is covered in my book, Navigating the Perfect Storm: Recruiting, Training and Retaining Lawyers in the Coming Decade (Ark P… […]

  4. […] Storm: Recruiting, Training and Retaining Lawyers in the Coming Decade” (Ark Press, 2010) (http://kowalskiandassociatesblog…).              Bruce, a brilliant thinker and analyst has not yet released all of the […]

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