Practice Groups Part 2: Practice Group Leader as Strategist

11.28.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
It is surprising how many law firms, their leaders and partners eschew the discipline of planning and strategy. Many firms still don’t require annual plans or even the process of planning from their partners, or practice groups and many don’t even have a strategic plan for the firm. A survey conducted by Patrick McKenna and David Read More

Practice Groups Part 1: The Framework and Leadership Role

11.07.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Most law firms have implemented a  practice group structure. Even those firms that retain the traditional, larger umbrella department structure (for example, corporate/transactional, litigation/disputes, regulatory,) most break down the management of the practice into smaller strategic business units that are used to: Organize lawyers and manage talent with specific skills and specialties Develop, execute and monitor Read More

Change Management 2: Strong Leadership and Collaboration are Required to Drive Change

10.24.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Making meaningful and sustainable change will require collaboration and strong leadership. As discussed in Change Management Part 1, effectuating change in law firms is more difficult than other professions and industries and managing partners cite the reluctance or refusal of the vast majority of their partners to change.  Given the dynamic shifts occurring in the Read More

Succession Management Pillar 5 of 5: Senior Lawyer Transitions and Next Career Support

09.26.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
In this final post in our five-part series on succession planning, we address perhaps the most challenging aspect of the topic: managing and supporting individual senior partner transitions.  In Pillar 1, Pillar 2, Pillar 3 and Pillar 4 we discussed various components of how firms can design and manage approaches to the many facets of succession Read More

Succession Management Pillar 3 of 5: Client Succession and Transition Management

08.22.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
This post follows two prior posts and addresses the third pillar of succession management. Like many aspects of law firm management, the subject of succession planning often is limited to internal firm or management discussions and consideration.  This is a mistake. Clients know and worry that senior partners may be nearing retirement, and absent any Read More

Succession Management Pillar 1 of 5: Transition Management and Retirement Process

07.25.18 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
In our recent blog post Succession Planning: The Problem and a RoadMap, we concluded with a RoadMap for how to establish a framework for an approach to succession planning.  This post provides additional detail about five components that comprise the pillars of succession management. Pillar 1 Components   Done correctly, as described in our post Read More

Women: Communicate So You are Heard

12.06.17 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
All of the research on gender bias and communications indicates that there are significant differences in the way men and women communicate. Men often are direct, women indirect.  For men, communication helps achieve a goal, provides an answer; for women, it is more of a process, they want to tell a story and make a Read More

Industry Group Strategy Part 2: How to Execute IGs Effectively

09.06.17 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
In our prior post, Industry Group Strategy Part 1 – What are They and Why Have IGs? we clarified the difference between sectors and industries and discussed the benefits and goals of having them.  In law firms, Industry Groups, like client teams, straddle multiple practice groups and lawyers may be members of several practice groups Read More

Your Personal Brand: (Re)Define It, Burnish It and Manage It

07.12.17 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Everyone has a personal brand and it often plays a critical role in professional success, advancement and business development.  Similar to a business’ brand, your brand is a promise of what others will receive from you, what you will be known for and how people react to your personality and approach.  Whether or not you actively Read More