Richard C. Reed

Richard C. Reed died in January 2008.

I am sad to report the death on January 7, 2008 of a former President of the College and one of our most distinguished Fellows, Richard C. Reed. Dick died of a stroke at his home at Bellevue, Washington, shortly after getting back from a cruise where he took thirty members of his family and friends.

Dick will be known to Fellows for many reasons:

  • He was in the founding class of the College of Law Practice Management and served as President and Trustee.
  • He was past Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section and chaired the Task Force on Alternative Billing Methods. In 2003, Dick received the Sam Smith Award from the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section to honor his service to the Section (as Chairman 1984-85, and later as Governance Liaison).
  • He was a mentor to many in the LPM Section, guiding many of the Section’s leaders, in very many areas.
  • Professionally, he was most recently Emeritus principal of Altman Weil, Inc. In 1989, he joined a predecessor firm Pensa International as a consultant to the legal profession. In 1991, Pensa merged with Altman & Weil to form Altman Weil Pensa (today, Altman Weil, Inc.). Before that, Dick practiced law for 41 years in Seattle, Washington and was Chairman of the Board of the Reed McClure Law Firm.
  • He was the godfather of the Alternative Billing movement. His books literally created the subject. They included Beyond the Billable Hour: An Anthology of Alternative Billing Methods (ABA), Win-Win Billing Strategies: Alternatives That Satisfy Your Clients and You (ABA) and Billing Innovations: New Win-Win Ways to End Hourly Billing (ABA).
  • He also wrote Applying Total Quality Management to the Law Office (Altman Weil Publications); Managing a Law Practice: The Human Side (ABA); and numerous articles for legal periodicals including ABA Law Practice magazine, the ABA Journal and National Law Journal. Dick was educated at the University of Chicago, from where he received both AB and JD degrees. He was a prolific speaker and author on law practice management topics, as well as a mentor and friend to lawyers throughout the profession. He frequently lectured at the Institute on Law Firm Management, the American Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Arizona State, Oregon State, Kansas State and Washington State Bar Associations.

I will remember his quiet and thoughtful advice, punctuated by the puffing on his pipe, his generosity, his friendship and his consummate professionalism. Dick was a good man. He will be missed.

—Simon Chester