Consulting

Volta has been on the leading edge of law firm consultancy for over three decades. We have pioneered a vast array of evaluation systems and were principal drivers of the competency-based performance management movement in law firms. Against the volatile landscape of a shifting global economy, we understand that it is more critical than ever for law firm leaders to actively engage their attorney populations and apply metrics of success. 

At Volta, we know that an attorney’s performance – regardless of rank or seniority – can only be optimized through regular evaluation and feedback. We listen, brainstorm, challenge, create, execute and applaud your success. For more information, contact Nicholas Jelfs-Jelf.

OUR WORK INCLUDES

 
 

Coaching

Managing law firms is no easy task. In a changing and competitive environment, law firm leaders are often called upon to address the challenges of managing growth and expansion while thinking strategically about delivering high-quality legal services in the most efficient, cost-effective manner. Ultimately, however, a firm’s ability to achieve its objectives is dependent on the performance of its team members, both its lawyers and its administrative professionals. So, how can law firms manage for these macro-challenges on a micro-level? 

Our coaching practice provides support for individuals (or groups of individuals) to learn, develop and enhance critical professional skills and behaviors through a customized and guided process, leading to greater productivity and efficiency. This process offers opportunities for growth and learning and creates the necessary space for dialogue, application and reflection, which are essential to the sustainability of action and change.

In brief, coaching can help you to enhance effectiveness and optimize performance at the individual, team and firm level.

SPECIALIZED COACHING AREAS

Drawing on our extensive business experience with law firms, our team of certified coaches works with lawyers and other professionals at all levels: firm leaders, practice leaders, partners and associates, chief officers, department heads and managers. Our work covers the interdependent components of life within a law firm. While each engagement is tailored specifically to the individual, we most regularly provide coaching in the following areas:

  • Business Development*

  • Career Development

  • Career Transitions

  • Communication

  • Delegation

  • Executive Presence

  • Giving Feedback

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Leadership

  • New Partners

  • Organizational Skills

  • Parental Leave/On-ramp/Off-ramp

  • Path to Partnership

  • Presentation Skills/Public Speaking

  • Stress Management/ Resilience

  • Teamwork/People Management

  • Time Management

  • Work-Life Balance/Wellness

OUR PROCESS

Our coaching is rooted in cultivating and leveraging self-awareness and self-direction. Since each individual’s circumstances, challenges and goals vary greatly, the most effective coaching does not always follow a pre-established, set plan. As a result, we adopt a flexible and adaptive approach in terms of how we coach. We work with each coachee to customize the overall coaching experience to his or her specific goals and needs, beginning with a deep dive into the coachee’s context and mindset. 

Our coaching engagements range from a few sessions to a year or more. In addition to regular coaching sessions, we incorporate assessments, skill-building exercises and our extensive knowledge management library of tools into each engagement. 

Our longer coaching engagements typically unfold in three phases designed to create momentum and ensure sustainability and follow-through:

PHASE ONE

In the initial phase, we conduct an intake meeting and preliminary coaching session to identify developmental objectives and set provisional goals. Where appropriate, we administer one or more assessments to further define strengths and areas of development and gather feedback from relevant peers at the firm.

PHASE TWO

In the second phase, we conduct regular coaching sessions either in-person or by phone or video. These weekly or bi-weekly sessions are typically 45-60 minutes and focus on ensuring sustained action and accountability.

PHASE THREE

In the final phase, we continue coaching with the aim of having the coachee(s) create a post-coaching plan in order to solidify any learning and behavioral or mindset changes so as to ensure that they are sustainable.

We recognize that different individuals learn in different ways. To accommodate different preferences, we adapt our style to be more or less directive. As former lawyers and experts in the legal industry, we can, in addition to coaching, advise, counsel and provide one-on-one consulting.

COACHING ARRANGEMENTS

We offer coaching packages to create maximum flexibility and effectiveness for our clients – both the firm and the individual. Coaching packages are typically three, six or twelve months, but the cost and length of each engagement are dependent on the seniority of the lawyer and the focus of the engagement.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, we provide group coaching and hybrid coaching, which incorporates both one-on-one and group elements. We also supplement some of our highly regarded training programs with follow-up coaching to further enhance skills and reinforce learning outcomes for participants.

We are also proud to offer coaching support to women who are participating in the OnRamp Fellowship Program (an initiative pioneered by Caren Ulrich Stacy, Founder and CEO of Diversity Lab). 

For more information, contact Cecilia Mullan, or download our Coaching Brochure.

If you're interested in offering self-directed coaching as a form of career advisory, visit our OnDemand Coaching Program page.

If you're interested in lateral partner integration coaching, visit our Lateral Partner Integration Coaching page.

*Recognized by the readers of the New York Law Journal and awarded a 2018 “Best of” ranking for ‘Lawyer/Law Firm Business Development Coaching’

Our Coaching Team

 
 

Outplacement 

Volta is the leading provider of legal outplacement and career transition services for partners, counsel and associates on behalf of some of the largest law firms and legal employers in the US. With career advisors available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, DC, we have provided thousands of attorneys at all levels of seniority and in every area of practice with comprehensive, strategic and effective career transition plans. Our team not only works with attorneys in each of our cities but also advises lawyers in multiple other diverse locations. Places as different as Boston, Houston, Denver, Miami and even Tokyo.

Attorneys in transition work one-on-one with our dedicated counselors using our multi-faceted framework and reinvigorate their careers with clearly articulated goals and a deeper understanding of what they have to offer the marketplace.

For more information, contact Nancy Carver, or download our Transitions Brochure.

You can also watch our 3-minute video, The Volta Process, below.

Recognized by the readers of the New York Law Journal and The Recorder and awarded a 2018 “Best of” ranking for ‘Legal Outplacement and Career Transition Provider.’

 
 

Volta is an industry leader in providing talent development programming aimed at developing better lawyers and professional development leaders. A trusted partner and advisor to the legal industry for over thirty years, Volta combines cutting-edge research, extensive subject-matter expertise and a deep appreciation for the unique needs of each of our clients to offer customized training programs that are innovative, impactful and completely bespoke. For more information, contact Nicholas Jelfs-Jelf.

TRAINING EXPERTISE

•    Leadership Development
•    Team Management
•    Delegation and Supervision
•    Effective Evaluations and Feedback
•    Business Development
•    Relationship Management
•    Time Management and Organization
•    Interview Skills
•    Active Career Management
•    Peak Performance, Wellness and Stress Management
•    Mentorship, Coaching and Sponsorship

 
 

Volta Coach Training™

Volta Coach Training™ is the only comprehensive coach training program designed specifically to equip participants with the skills to coach lawyers. Aimed at talent management, professional development, diversity and recruiting professionals working in large law firms, Volta Coach Training™ is crafted to work within a law firm professional’s busy schedule. Our rigorous and intensive 14-week program is delivered in a condensed format with a focus on developing practical skills, ensuring that our program graduates have the confidence and ability to begin coaching right away.

Volta Coach Training™ consists of five intensive, in-person days of training, 12 weeks of coursework and coaching with a mentor coach and three video calls. The program covers both the foundations of coaching, in general, as well as the specifics of coaching lawyers. The program concludes one final, in-person meeting on the last day of the program.

By the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • effectively engage in coaching conversations with lawyers;

  • understand and have facility with the core competencies of effective coaching, including active listening, direct communication, asking powerful questions, designing actions and planning and goal setting;

  • be able to navigate the potential pitfalls of coaching lawyers from within a law firm; and

  • be conversant with the ethics of coaching.

faculty

The program is led by Whittney Beard, PCC, who has over 10 years of professional coaching experience, including four years training coaches and eight years as an internal law firm coach supporting lawyers at every level.

Whittney is supported by co-facilitators and mentor coaches drawn from our highly regarded team of coaches.

one program, two formats

Volta Coach Training™ is offered in two formats: Academy and In-House.

In the Academy, cohorts are made up of participants from different law firms. We offer the Academy format on both the east and west coasts in order to provide some flexibility for participants. This format allows for firms to put just one (or a few) of their team through the training and serves as a unique networking experience for law firm professionals with an interest in coaching.

If your law firm has five or more individuals for whom coach training would be ideal, we recommend In-House Volta Coach Training™. This enables you to create your own firm-specific cohort for training purposes. In this format, our program leader(s) would come to your firm’s offices to conduct elements of the program that are in-person.

upcoming dates + locations

  • June 6, 2019 | Brooklyn, NY

  • June 27, 2019 | San Francisco Bay Area

certification + credentialing

Following successful graduation from Volta Coach Training, you will be certified as a Volta Certified Coach. In order to graduate from the program, participants must:

  • complete all elements of the Volta Coach Training, including all in-person meetings, mentor coaching meetings, and assigned self-study work; and

  • pass both a written and an oral coaching evaluation.

In addition, if you choose, you may use Volta Coach Training™ as the foundation for obtaining an International Coach Federation (ICF) credential. The ICF is widely accepted as the primary credentialing body in the coaching industry and an ICF credential is seen as the gold standard in terms of coaching credentials. To obtain an ICF credential, you must first acquire a minimum level of training and coaching hours, and demonstrate an understanding of the ICF’s coaching core competencies and ethics. You may use the hours you spend in Volta Coach Training™ toward your credential by applying through the Portfolio path. To make this process easier still, we anticipate applying for ACSTH (Approved Coaching Specific Training Hours) accreditation through the ICF in 2019. You can learn more about both the Portfolio and the ACSTH paths here.

get more information

For further information, please contact Whittney Beard or Cecilia Mullan. To be kept apprised of future Volta Coach Training™ Academy dates, please enter your information below.

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