Sure, most of my kids will soon be through with college, and none of them have attended Texas A&M University. I greatly care about college funding and the cost of education in Texas, which is continuing to increase dramatically. But, I care about the University's college professor ranking matrix for the reason I believe it is anecdotal to why most businesses, why many law firm do not perform well, and why many attorneys fail.
According to articles published by various outlets, the vice chancellor of academic affairs composed a spreadsheet that listed the faculty members according to how much money they made or lost for Texas A&M. It calculated each professor's revenues based on tutiion each contributed to the school by their class, research awards, and grants, among other factors. So, for example, the greater number of classes the professor taught, and the more students in each class, the greater the revenue attributed to that professor.
As to each professor, if the revenue attributed to him or her was as much or higher than his or her salary, it was listed in black. If his or her salary was higher than the revenues attributed to him or her it was red.
Of the 50 highest compensated professors, only five of them were listed in black, and 45 of them were listed in red. In theory, then, 90% of the professors where not earning their keep. Another way of putting it is that 10% of the professors were supporting the 100% of the falculty and the University.
The University did not really mean for the spreadsheet to be made public, and the methodology of the study has been greatly criticed.
The truth is that it is hard to both understand (or evaluate) a person's true value to an organization, regardless if that organization is a college or a law firm. But, what this spreadsheet indicates is that the overwhelming majority of people in any organization (in the case of A&M 90% of them) are not focused on what makes the organization profitable and comfortable for everyone. Most people neither understand how their job contributes to the profitability of an organization, or what they can do to earn their keep. The majority of lawyers, staff and associates are a drag not only ont he organization but on the 10% the earn most of the money for the firm.
From my experience over the years, I have come to believe that about 10% of the people in any law firm of any size carry the weight for the other 90%. They have to earn enough for the firm through their efforts not only to support themselves, but to support almost everyone else.
This is the problem with the traditional law firm model. The lead lawyers, the money generators, design these hiarchical organizations to keep them (the individual lawyers) as organized and profitable as possible. It rarely works out this way, but the point is that it results in the money maker wasting time managing people who do not manage well, and working to support everyone else instead of the other way around.
On top of this inefficiency, add all of the office space, supplies, equipment, benefits and other overhead issues to each employee's or lawyer's income and salary, and it illustrates well that if you are a profitable lawyer in a traditional practice, you are spending all of your waking hours working for other people ... and, not the other wasy around.
And, this is not really what was intended by the hires. In all likelihood, in the beginning, the lawyer had vision of bringing on people that moved the money upward, to make his or her life more comfortable.
This is what I learned years ago. The more people I hired, the more office space my firm occupied, the more advertising purchased built on itself, but my take home never got better, or bigger, or easier to make.
So, I downshifted. I eventually moved my operation home, only brought on people that in helping me must more often than not understand that they must eat what they help kill, to put it crudely.
There are a lot of lawyers that dream of being a kind of CEO, in which they sit behind their desks and manuver the puppet strings. They wish to overcome the lights on type of business as is the practice of law into a model where others generate the revenues for the master. Some are just see themselves as empire builders. Like the joke of the farmer who claims not to want to own all of the land, he just wants to own all of the land next to his land. But, these practices always seem to struggle, and they rarely work out this way. And, if their plan work out this way, their subordinates always tend to feel victimized.
At some point you have to come to realization that you can work less, and with less stress, if you will just take fewer cases and eliminate all of those "professors" in your life that are constantly in the red.