Skills Gap Part 2: How Some Law Schools and Others are Filling the Void

05.29.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Our last blog post, Skills Gap Part 1: What Skills Will Lawyers Need to Stay Relevant? described the expanded set of competencies necessary for lawyers in law firms and legal departments today.  The types of skills needed and the level of competency in each will vary according to a firm’s practice mix, its strategic positioning Read More

The Skills Gap Part 1: What Competencies will Lawyers Need to Stay Relevant in the Future?

05.15.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Our last three posts have addressed different aspects of innovation that are occuring in the legal profession:  Innovation Part 1: What It Is and What It Isn’t, Innovation Part 2: Insights from Expertsand Innovation Part 3:  ALSPs Are Expanding and Aren’t Alternative Anymore.  Inherent in all of this client-driven change and digital transformation is the Read More

Enhancing Your Personal Leadership Skills: Influence and Persuasion

03.06.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Traditionally, firm leaders used a top-down, authoritarian style. Change initiatives, strategic and operational objectives and new policies were announced using a “command and control” approach, dictating what needed to be done and by when. Decisions and outcomes often were predetermined by the managing partner or an executive committee and imposed upon others at the firm. Read More

Accelerate Your Personal Success: Executive Presence

02.20.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Executive presence is comprised of the gravitas/aura you project, the ways in which you communicate, your appearance, the impression you make and your authenticity. It is an essential quality for leaders and critical for all who want to succeed – a combination of traits and behaviors that can mean the difference between advancing or remaining Read More

Be Intentional about Your Personal Marketing and Business Development

01.23.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
Most lawyers recognize the need to actively pursue new work by generating repeat business from satisfied existing clients and by attracting new clients to the firm. Too many, however, still engage in random acts of marketing or “throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.” Even effective rainmakers could do a better job of Read More

Practice Groups Part 4: Practice Group Leader as Talent Manager and Coach

01.09.19 | Posted By: Susan Duncan
  Perhaps one of the most challenging responsibilities for today’s practice group leaders is the “people” side of the business. In our prior two posts, we have discussed the Practice Group Leader as Strategist and the Practice Group Leader as Financial Steward. While PGLs often get help from others managing the associates and staff in Read More

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