“Executive presence” is for many people I talk to in law firms a “know-it-when-you-see-it” kind of thing. While they may be confident that they can tell you who has it, or more often in the context of lawyer coaching, who doesn’t, they may struggle to define it clearly.
It is a universal, albeit ironic, truth that by listening to those who are leaving your firm, you can more actively focus your retention initiatives so as to hold on to people you want to keep.
In our first article, we discussed the challenges law firms face in confronting succession issues. In this article, we offer a succession planning outline for firms that are ready to take on the challenge.
Another year is over, another just beginning. As U.S. law firms close their accounts for 2015, law firm leaders and partners are taking stock of how they did. And how their competitors did. So where do we stand when it comes to U.S. law firms’ financial performance in 2015?
Now that associate retention has firmly established itself again as a management issue at many law firms, upward review programs are not surprisingly back on the agenda. Over the last year or so, the post-recession balance of power has shifted back to the associate body in many law firms. With that shift come renewed calls from associates for the opportunity to evaluate senior colleagues.
Despite recent headlines suggesting that the days of conventional performance evaluations are numbered, it seems that performance reviews are alive and well, at least in the legal industry. And, it’s that time of year.
Law firms are prolific publishers. As a result, regular news and updates on major decisions and changes in law and practice abound. But who reads it all? Not only is there too much for the intended reader to absorb but, too often, much of it is written in a dense, user-unfriendly style. It’s as if it’s written for the benefit of the lawyer-author rather than the business-reader. In short, despite good intentions and the investment of a lot of time and money, much of the news material coming out of law firms is just not compelling. That’s why Epstein Becker Green’s weekly news broadcast is all the more interesting.
I don’t know who came up with the expression “elevator pitch” but I have come to the conclusion that its (over)use is a turn-off for many of the lawyers we coach. This set me thinking. Undoubtedly, “elevator pitch” is a cliché but there’s another problem with it: An undue emphasis on the concept and its readiness for use with new contacts distracts from the reality that our networks are as much about the people we already know (or with whom we have a link) as they are about strangers.
In short, the answer is when it’s about communication.
As we made ourselves coffee in our new office near Wall Street, Diane Costigan was sharing some coaching advice she had been giving about managing expectations (of colleagues and clients). Diane is working up some new material around goal setting and how, inadvertently, lawyers sometimes set themselves up to fail.