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.
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.... Everything that he says about the changes in the practice of law in the United States, we too have 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 effects 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.
Julian P. Killingley
Professor of Law
Birmingham City University School of Law
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
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.
Proskauer Rose LLP,
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 (Crown), among other books
This is a wonderful book .... It is written with great clarity, a 'must read' for all lawyers and law students, as well as vital for others. Trotter lucidly explains the unhappiness of the public with lawyers, and lawyers' unhappiness with lawyering.
Ernest P. Rogers Professor of Law
University of Georgia School of Law
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
Profit and the Practice of Law written by Michael Trotter is an extremely interesting and mentally challenging book.
Former Senior Partner and Founder of Holland & Knight, and Former President of the American Bar Association
Mike Trotter truthfully describes the changes, often negative, that have occurred in the private practice of law during the past twenty years and wisely suggests that lawyers chart a different course for the future. I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in the legal profession.
Nancy L. Henry
Former Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation
This book is well written and easy to read.... A must read for any lawyer seriously interested in the future of the profession.
Hazel L. Johnson
Former Editor of "Resources and Reviews " in
Law Practice Management
Published by the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association
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 believe you did a splendid job of articulating what has come of the legal profession in the context of "major business practice firms, " as you call them, in the time since you and I left Harvard Law School. All applicants to law schools today should have to certify that they have read this book (and understand it) before their applications will be processed.
John C. Christie, Jr.
Trotter's book is a poignant tale of the rise and fall of the corporate law firm told from the heart by one who has lived through its transformation. Trotter traces the economic and legal trends that have made law and lawyering unnecessarily expensive and often non-productive.... The book serves as a compelling wake-up call to corporate clients to once again take control of their legal destinies by refusing to abide by the prevailing practices of the typical "big firm " lawyer.
Thomas B. Metzloff
Professor of Law
Duke University School of Law
It seems to me a very important book for everybody in your profession, whether they are only thinking of studying law, are about to graduate from law school, or are now practicing.... Congratulations on a brilliant accomplishment!
Roderick F. O'Connor
Professor of Management Emeritus
Georgia Institute of Technology
"[Y]ou've done an outstanding job in the study of the legal profession during the period of time that you and I have been in practice .... Congratulations on a job well done.
Former Senior Partner
Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy LLP
Mr. Trotter has done a great job of describing how the practice of law has changed over the past four decades.... Most members of the Bar will find this book interesting reading no matter how long they have been in practice. The changes which have occurred in the legal profession, as well as in the practice of law, are set forth in a clear and concise manner with supporting facts and figures. The book explains not only how these changes have occurred, but also why.... This book should also be of interest to non-lawyers.... Whether the readers agree or disagree with the author's views about changes in the practice of law, it is certain that they will find this book informative. Moreover, it should be required reading for first-year law students.
The Honorable Robert W. Chasteen, Jr.
Judge of the Superior Court for Cordele Judicial Circuit and Former President of the State Bar of Georgia
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 1997 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.
Author of Law and History: The Evolution of the American Legal System
Recently I have read your book Profit and the Practice of Law, which I found interested me very much. I guess some lawyers from many other countries are also having the same experiences described in your book.... Although the early period of the legal business described in your book was 30 to 35 years ago, it nevertheless matched my experiences of the 1980s when I was just starting my own practice. But those descriptions about in-house lawyers, computer-oriented documentation, rude attitude of the US lawyers, bankruptcy of clients and poor productivity of the young lawyers in the major firms can be seen more and more in our daily work here, too.
Mark M Koen
Koen and Koen