Creating Your High Performance Practice Team

An Intensive One-Day Workshop for Practice Group Leaders: Identifying and Implementing the Structural Necessities for Effective Practice Management


  • 23 August, 2018
  • 08:30 - 08:30
  • 450 N Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States (View Map)

Additional taxes may be applicable


8.30AM Registration & Continental Breakfast

Introduction and Overview

Patrick McKenna will begin with a discussion of the evidence of why practicing together in a group can make a measurable difference to your law firm’s quality, service, profitability, skills and professional morale, motivation and enthusiasm.

One-on-One Management Skills

This session will examine, in depth, the critical elements to becoming an effective group leader, including:

  • determining, together, what precisely is the job and what does it require of the individual holding the position;
  • identify how, as a practice leader, you add value and what specifically is it, that you can do, that is likely to actually affect the success of the group you lead;
  • exploring under what circumstances people accept counsel, how to get people to accept your influence and why someone would follow you; and
  • identify the various options you have available to you and what you need to do, to develop personal credibility with the people you manage

Working With Your Colleagues’ Differing Styles

When you bring together a group of lawyers who have different substantive skills, diverse experiences, a variety of work styles, and sometimes conflicting priorities, the process of managing the interactions can be challenging. This session will illustrate:

  • How to avoid personality clash and achieve instant rapport
  • Effective communication skills for understanding and appealing to your team members

12:00PM Networking Luncheon

Group Collaboration Skills

Developing convergence on common goals as a team is important. Good practice group leaders recognize that in order to get the group working together effectively, you must invest in some conversations with your team to determine:

  • why we should work together as a group;
  • what is in it for each of us to collaborate together;
  • how much time is going to be required to participate in a meaningful manner; and
  • what kind of behavior we think we have the right to expect of each other

This session will equip practice leaders with the tools and techniques to explore with their group - what kind of group you want to be, what ben-efits you want to get, and whether you are prepared to do what it takes to truly be a team.

Developing A Strategic Direction For Your Group

The essence of creating a strategic direction is in having your group members progress through a deliberate process wherein they assess their position relative to competitors in their marketplace, identify their best areas of emerging opportunity, and develop specific action plans for capitalizing on those areas where they can improve their market positions and secure the most profitable business. This working session will assist you in learning how to develop specific, strategic action plans with the core members of your practice group.

Effective Group Meetings & Getting Action Implemented

Nowhere is the vitality of your team more visibly apparent than in the fundamental workings of practice group meetings. Since practice group meetings remain the principle vehicle for effective group action and the most visible aspect of the group’s progress, they require that a practice leader adhere to some interrelated principles that together will help energize these meetings and make them far more effective. This session will focus on how to have your team working together on strategic
projects, determine an action plan for moving the group forward, and a means for absolutely ensuring that best intentions actually get

4:00PM Wrap-Up / Q & A
This concluding session is designed to summarize, synthesize, debate, question and answer any of your “real world” practice management and leadership issues. As a group, we will determine and discuss coordination and leadership challenges.

Full Description

Download the full program here:

Full program

Get Your Practice or Industry Group Fully-Charged!

Whether you are the leader of a practice group or industry team, whether this is your first experience in leading a group or the custodian of an especially challenging group of mavericks, you are among the most essential players in achieving your firm’s long-term profitability and success…

This job is not an easy one! It is your challenge to:

  • Create a strong cohesive group out of a collection of bright, intelligent, autonomous individuals
  • Identify how, as a practice leader, you add value and what specifically is it, that you can do, that is likely to actually affect the success of the group you lead
  • Positively impact and enhance client satisfaction – turning client needs into growth opportunities
  • Find a way to develop a strategic direction in an intensively competitive marketplace and have your colleagues actually want to work together
  • Lead effective meetings that result in some action plans being formulated and your colleagues taking responsibility for actually doing something

Obviously there are many challenges inherent to this position as law firms (and their clients) increasingly embrace the application of new economic and structural pillars necessary for the profession to benefit from greater alignment on issues such as efficiency and value. And perhaps you were never trained or given any guidance on how to go about organizing and managing a group of your fellow professionals. So, now where do you turn?

This intensive, skills-building workshop is an investment in your ability to make a measurable difference to your group’s quality of service, profitability, and professional morale. Every aspect of this experience is designed to provide hands-on checklists, interpersonal techniques and exercises to make it completely applicable for you to use immediately.


"I enjoyed the practical tips. Patrick really understands law firm cultures and was responsive to specific questions and situations."
Kerrin Slatery - McDERMOTT WILL & EMERY

"This was extraordinarily helpful. Much more helpful than a similar event I went to at the Harvard Business School. It has given me some terrific insights that I intend to implement immediately." Scott Turner - NIXON PEABODY

Top industry speakers

Patrick J. McKenna

Internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier law firms, Patrick has the honor of working with at least one of the largest firms in over a dozen different countries.  He is the author of eight books most notably his international business best seller, First Among Equals, currently in its seventh printing and translated into nine languages.  His most recent work, The Changing of the Guard, Second Edition (Ark Group, 2017), provides in-depth guidance on the leadership selection process in professional firms.  Patrick’s three decades of experience led to his being the subject of a Harvard Law School Case Study entitled: Innovations In Legal Consulting (2011).  One example of that innovation was his launching the first instructional program designed to specifically address the issues that new firm leaders of larger firms face in their First 100 Days – which has thus far graduated over 80 new leaders many from AmLaw 100 and 200-sized law firms.  Patrick serves as Contributing Editor to Of Counsel, The Legal Practice and Management Report based in New York City; is the recipient of an “Honorary Fellowship” from Leaders Excellence of Harvard Square; was voted by the readers of Legal Business World as one of only seven international Thought Leaders (2017); and is founding member of the Legal Institute For Forward Thinking a legal think-tank comprised of leading academics and consultants from three countries.

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