A while ago, we worked with a leading law firm to help them become more customer-centric. A key component of this work was understanding the networks of partners within the firm, and how natural working relationships mapped onto the formal organization structure. To do this, we used existing data and social network analysis.

While looking at staff utilization with a large law firm, the issue that keeps cropping up in discussions with junior and mid-level ranks is quality of life, and how the current model can undermines it. Associates' working hours are very volatile, often consisting of several 16+ hour days, followed by some days of very low hours. Juniors talk about not being able to have a life, but partners are asking us, "What's the big deal? it's always been this way, and it doesn't matter."

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