I just read in the Legal Intelligencer that consultant Ward Bower died of a heart attach on September 28th, at the age of 69. You can read the story here. Too many people in the legal industry won’t realize what a loss this represents; despite his many contributions.
I was privileged to know Ward for many decades. I admired him. The first two decades he and I met in educational venues for the most part.
At that time I managed firms internally. Ward was a frequent presenter at educational events I attended. Having managed in many corporate environments prior to joining my first law firm, I struggled to apply sound business practices at law firms.
Ward was firmly entrenched in the belief that law firms needed to operate both as profession and business to be successful. So he was preaching to the choir. But he really understood the blow-back Legal Administrators dealt with on a day-to-day basis at their firms. Ward was always free to share thoughts on how to more creatively accomplish goals, and I found him increasingly inciteful as his experienced deepened.
In the following decades, as an independent law practice management consultant serving smaller firms, I kept in touch with Ward, and continued to enjoy his writings.
I remember several assignments over the years when I needed a sounding board. Ward remained generous with his time. When he disagreed, he presented alternate opinions diplomatically and with finesse. I was so grateful for his assistance. I feel in some part it is what enabled me to remain so engaged, and dedicated to continue to develop my instincts and expertise.
It’s a sadder industry for the loss of Ward Bower. He was much too young.