HIT THE GROUND RUNNING: A Virtual Master Class for the NEW Practice Group Leader

A Virtual Master Class for the NEW Practice Group Leader


  • 02 December, 2020 - 03 December, 2020

Additional taxes may be applicable



11:00AM ET

In addition to this formal Agenda, we will as a group, identify those supplemental issues that you feel most important and need to be addressed during the course of this workshop in order to help you be effective as a practice leader.


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

One-on-One Leadership Skills

We will examine, in depth, the critical elements to becoming an effective practice / industry group leader, including:

  • determining, together, what precisely is the job and what does it require of the individual holding the position;
  • identifying 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
  • identifying the various options you have available to you and what you need to do, to develop personal credibility with the professionals in your group
12:30PM ET
1:00PM ET
Developing Strategic Direction
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 actions with the core members of your practice group.
2:15PM ET
Review & Discussion
We will review some of the highlights of our first session and continue to address particular agenda items that you have specifically identified as important.
11:00AM ET
Working with Your Colleagues: Differing Styles and Dealing with Difficult Conversations

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. In this session we will learn how to avoid personality clash and achieve instant rapport and effective communication skills for understanding and appealing to your team members

Group Collaboration Skills

Good practice leaders recognize that in order to get your 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 benefits you want to get, and whether you are prepared to do what it takes to truly function as a team.

12:30PM ET
1:00PM ET
Effective Group Meetings & Getting Action Implemented
Nowhere is the vitality of your team more visibly apparent than in the fundamental workings of your group meetings. Since your meetings remain the principle vehicle for effective group action and the most visible aspect of your 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 implemented.

Exploring How We Can Differentiate in A Highly Competitive Marketplace

The most unnerving question that any prospective (or existing) client may pose is: “Why should I choose you (your group / your firm), what makes you distinctive, and what specific added-value do you bring to my particular business matters . . . that I can’t get anywhere else?” This session is intended to explore, as a group, the various ways you might address that question in a manner that resounds favorably with clients.

2:15PM ET
Question & Answer/Closing Discussion
This concluding session is designed to summarize, synthesize, debate, question and answer any of your “real world” practice group management and leadership issues. As a group, we will determine and discuss coordination and leadership challenges.

Full Description


You have just been appointed as one of your firm’s newest practice group leaders and you now have the care and custody of a group of your peers. This may be your first experiencing in managing or leading a group or business unit. To be effective you must now forge a team out of a group of autonomous individuals - most of whom are now working from home…

Only one small problem . . . you were never trained or given any guidance on how to go about organizing and managing a group of your fellow professionals—let alone remotely.

So where do you turn?

Why Attend:

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.


Who Should Attend:

NEW Department Chairs, and Practice/Industry Group Managers/Leaders in law firms who want to learn how to be effective in their new roles, learn how to motivate their peers (even those attorneys who may be more senior than you), and explore where to direct your limited and precious (non-billable leadership) time in order to maximize your investment.

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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