Kara Dodson is quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the rise of coaching in law firms. “We have many requests for coaching with a focus on business development, time management, and executive presence, but another consistent theme is a desire to alleviate the stress inherent to the practice of law.” Dodson agrees that in today’s world “coaching is seen as a powerful development tool for high potential lawyers.” She also adds that “lawyers are great at problem solving—the coach is there to make it stick.”
Large law firms are expanding their coaching capabilities by hiring their own full-time coaches and/or by sponsoring the coach training and accreditation of members of their existing teams (especially within their talent and BD teams). In parallel, the use by law firms of external coaches is also increasing.
Law schools, and therefore law students, have your number. Schools go to great lengths to prepare their students for their OCI experience—sharing lists of interview questions to be prepared for, lists of questions to ask of their interviewers and even classifying the different types of interviews and interviewers students may come across. For example, New York University School of Law highlights the following interviewer types.
More and more law firms are adopting coaching as a critical developmental tool to support their people. Some firms are building coaching cultures to optimize organizational and individual performance. But what does it take to develop a coaching culture? Take our 12 question quiz to assess whether your firm has a coaching culture.
As much as the use of leadership and executive coaching in law firms is increasing, some firms hesitate to adopt coaching broadly as a key developmental tool. While an obvious institutional concern may be cost, the concerns for individuals typically focus on the time, energy and vulnerability required.
Last year, we at Volta set out to understand how law firms are using coaching. Through our Coaching Insights Survey, we asked law firms in the Am Law 200 and beyond to share what they are doing coaching-wise. Of the Am Law 200 (ranked by revenue), no fewer than 123 law firms use coaching, with a high number of those being in the first 100. In our second article to mark International Coaching Week, we share some of what we discovered:
In The Volta Coaching Insights Report, we reflected on the fact that coaching (in the sense of executive coaching) eludes a universal definition. Many attempts have been made to define the term “coaching” but the reality is that is often applied to various different - but similar and overlapping – disciplines, namely mentoring, counseling and (one-on-one) consulting. Our research leads us to the conclusion that these terms are sometimes misunderstood and/or used interchangeably.
Steptoe announces the launch of their Talent Sponsorship Program, a program designed for diverse associates at the firm to enhance and expand upon the professional development opportunities that all associates receive. The program also aims to ensure that the firm maintains a talented group of diverse attorneys that may potentially advance to senior levels at the firm. Volta Talent Strategies will support the program by providing one-on-one coaching to each participant.
Think back to the first day of summer when you were a child. What was around the corner? Chances are, the possibilities felt endless, and you were brimming with ideas for how to play. This desire to investigate, explore and learn is the very definition of curiosity. .
Volta Talent Strategies boasts one of the largest specialist attorney coaching teams in the US, working with law firms across the States. Volta is therefore pleased to announce that Whittney Beard has joined the team from Orrick Sutcliffe & Herrington LLP, a global law firm founded in San Francisco. Whittney brings additional depth and capacity to Volta where she will be the tenth coach on the team.
When I first joined LinkedIn 10+ years ago, the premise of the site was simple and intriguing – connect with people I know, see their connections, and allow them access to mine. I could immediately see the utility of this for a wide range of professional pursuits in which having direct access to one’s professional connections, as well as a more expansive network beyond those connections, could be beneficial, e.g., when engaging in business development, or job searching, or event planning, or otherwise undertaking various professional projects and activities.
In the first article, we reviewed the research on Mindset and how it impacts the legal industry. So how can law firms reconcile the psychology of a Growth Mindset with the realities of their organization’s business needs? Here are some ideas to start a conversation to help your firm move toward a Growth Mindset.
I spend the majority of my workweek in conversations with law firm partners and associates. Again and again in our coaching sessions or in other conversations, common themes emerge… I have come to the conclusion that that these seemingly disparate themes and sentiments actually have a common thread. It’s “Mindset.” This article is the first of a two-part series. In this article, we explore the research on Mindset and its impact on the legal profession specifically.
Volta is pleased to announce that we have been recognized by the readers of the New York Law Journal and awarded a 2018 “Best of” ranking for ‘Lawyer/Law Firm Business Development Coaching’ and ‘Legal Outplacement and Career Transition Provider.’
“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.
As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, the possibilities of a more human-like experience of AI open up. And, with that comes the possibility of an AI career coach that is able to bring new techniques and approaches to executive coaching…
Lateral hiring is a peculiarly difficult business. And there’s no shortage of legal industry commentary to make you think twice about its efficacy as a growth strategy. But let’s assume that despite the frustrations and the doubts, you continue with your hiring.
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.
A lack of succession planning is a leadership and cultural issue – one that may, at some point, have a significant impact on the stability of the firm. So why do law firms procrastinate taking the issue on, and why does it seem like such a herculean task?
Lawyers may leave a typical training program equipped with a new skill - at least in the abstract sense - but not necessarily with any guidance on how to develop or refine it over time. And, most likely, time constraints mean that a training program design doesn’t allow for learners to practice their new skills. Coaching, on the other hand, enables participants to explore and hone their new skillset through a guided and individualized process.
Law360, New York (June 13, 2017, 5:00 PM EDT) -- Over the last decade the number of lateral moves and the investment that firms continue to make in partner hiring have grown exponentially (a 2015 ALM Legal Intelligence Report estimated $1.3 billion in lateral partner compensation alone in 2014). Despite the expenditure, firms active in the lateral market experience unremarkable success rates (around 50 percent, according to various surveys). Therefore, it is hardly surprising that firms are looking for ways to enhance their rates of return on lateral investments.
Law360, New York (June 13, 2017, 12:21 AM EDT) -- Diligence is a fact of life that cannot (and certainly should not) be avoided. In an M&A transaction, the parties understand that a certain degree of diligence will be requested of both parties. Lateral partner recruiting should be no different, but the differences in the nature of legal practice make performing due diligence on candidates more challenging. Unlike an M&A transaction, a candidate’s practice and relationships aren’t summarized in audited financial statements prepared by an independent third party.
It’s that time of year. Welcome to partner retreat season! In addition to furthering relationships with your fellow partners and hopefully getting some warm weather exposure, annual or semi-annual retreats can add a high-impact jolt to your current business development goals.
Law360, New York (April 4, 2017, 6:52 PM EDT) -- The surveys that report lateral partner hiring as more or less a 50-50 proposition keep being published, and yet the lateral partner market is as robust as ever. So, what are firms looking at to measure their success and justify the level of investment they continue...
Law360, New York (April 5, 2017, 4:57 PM EDT) -- By now, I hope we’ve all looked in the mirror and seen our own reflection as it relates to our respective lateral recruitment efforts. It is, of course, interesting to see the results of a number of the surveys and much of the research done around...