Law Firm Practice Management 2.0

Identifying how effective practice and industry groups can accelerate business development, stimulate profitability, and deliver a level of service that your clients demand


  • 04 October, 2018
  • 08:45 - 16:30
  • 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States ()

Additional taxes may be applicable


8:30AM Registration & Networking Breakfast

9:00AM Opening Remarks - Conference Co-Chairs
Patrick J. McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc.
Michael Rynowecer, President, BTI Consulting Group, Inc.

Addressing The Challenges of Creating and Sustaining High-Performing Groups

Many law firm leaders may think that simply selecting the best partner to lead any given group and then providing them with some basic training is the first step to achieving effective practice group leadership. Unfortunately your challenge goes well beyond this being simply a people issue to one of being a deeply structural issue. From having clearly defined time commitments on behalf of each practice leader, to determining the non-negotiable expectations you have for your groups, this session will delve into a dozen structural impediments that your firm leadership MUST address to ensure that your groups can succeed. 
Patrick J. McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc.

Driving Performance Practice Group Leaders Panel

Law firms continue to expect more of their Practice Leaders. The best performing law firms are laying out new goals and demands as clients are changing their expectations of law firms. Join a deep discussion with three (3) Practice Leaders who navigated these changes and not only lived to tell about—but thrived. We will be discussing both traditional practices and the evolving role of industry-focused practices. This panel encourages questions from the audience.
Philip Sellinger, Co-Chair, Global Litigation Practice, Greenberg Traurig,
Tom Schulte, Head of the Americas Banking & Finance Practice, Clifford
Chance, Kristian (Krist) Werling, Co-Chair, Life Sciences Practice,
McDermott, Will & Emery

Moderator: Michael Rynowecer, President, BTI Consulting Group, Inc.

10:45AM Morning Networking & Coffee Break

Leading Groups Across Offices and Geographies

During this session, Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski will discuss her discovery of the phenomenon she named, Virtual Distance. Virtual Distance is a quantifiable artifact of today's technology-enabled workplace. Defined as a measure of what's lost when the human being is translated through the "smart" machine, Virtual Distance shows up as a set of metrics that reflect a sense of detachment that grows unconsciously when we rely heavily on smart, mediated communications. Virtual Distance is also predictive of success or failure and everything in between. When left
unchecked, it can have significantly negative consequences to trust, performance and productivity. However, when Virtual Distance is reduced and managed over time, performance quantifiably increases, people are more satisfied and better outcomes are the result. During impacting the legal industry across the globe and how to best tackle challenges and implement solutions.
Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski, Founder & CEO, Virtual Distance International

12:00PM Networking Luncheon

Leading Groups Across Offices and Geographies … continued

Prior to the conference, you will be invited to take the Virtual DistanceIndex (VDI) Assessment. During this workshop session, you will receive your own Virtual Distance Management (VDM) Report giving you the chance to look at your own data analytics to better understand how Virtual Distance may be impacting you and your organization. Listen as Dr. Karen Lojeski takes you through how to read and interpret your report, interact with your colleagues and reflect on your specific Virtual Distance dynamics. In addition, you will be given a chance to build a Virtual Distance Leadership Action Plan using specific solutions to reduce Virtual Distance that you can implement immediately after the summit.
Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski, Founder & CEO, Virtual Distance International

Chief Practice Officer Panel - What Works and What Doesn’t?

Effective internal support is critical in helping practices maximize their success. The market is intensely competitive and elevating practice group performance takes considerable strategy and attention to execution. Practice group leaders must provide vision and momentum around revenue generation and market share gain; expansion, support and training lawyer talent; profitability and overall financial health management; quality control; lateral integration; and, of course, practice law. How do firms provide the much-needed support that is vital to practice group leaders? Our panelists will explore the good, the bad and the ugly of getting groups to operate effectively.

  • Dealing with the silent killers of team performance
  • Handling internal conflicts
  • Lessons in transforming best intentions into action
  • How, when and why to measure group performance

Catherine Woodward Gill, (Former) Chief Practice Management Officer, Goodwin
Procter LLP, Andrew Notaro, Chief Practice Officer, Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Steve DeBruyn, Chief Practice Officer,
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Moderator: Patrick J. McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc.

2:30PM Afternoon Networking & Coffee Break

Group Marketing, Sales, and Client Service

Practice Group performance is uneven across the legal industry and even within the same law firm. Some practices thrive while others dwindle along. Thriving practices use strategies and tactics the others don’t– learn how you can start using them to improve your performance - even if you’re already thriving.
Michael Rynowecer, President, BTI Consulting Group, Inc.

What We Can Learn From Accounting Firms: From Governance to Business Development Strategies

Are other professional service firms more advanced than law firms? How have today’s accounting firms made the transition to an industry group focus? In this session attendees will look outside of the legal profession to learn how other professions may be managing their practice groups more efficiently.
Allan D. Koltin, CPA, CEO, Koltin Consulting Group Inc.

4:15PM Wrap-Up/Closing Remarks
Patrick J. McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc.
Michael Rynowecer, President, BTI Consulting Group, Inc.

Full Description

Download the full event brochure here

In an atmosphere where innovation, efficiency and value are expectations rather than buzzwords, the effective management of practice groups is essential to your law firm’s value and service proposition.

Ark Group’s Law Firm Practice Management 2.0 will begin with an in-depth discussion of the structural impediments that firm leadership needs to address to help their groups succeed. Law firms today are trying to simultaneously develop high-performance practice and industry groups - while also exploring new ‘tech-driven hybrids’ like Blockchain or Synthetic Biology—i.e. groups that are a blending of substantive legal skills serving a disruptive tech capable of impacting multiple industries.

Attendees of this forum will also hear directly from a panel of highly experienced Practice Group Leaders concerning how they deal with the changing demands of their respective clients (and roles). This panel will shed some light on the things they do to build stronger relationships and foster superior business development efforts and techniques.

Many practice or industry groups are comprised of members spread across multiple offices and geographies—complicating leadership and execution efforts for everyone involved. Attendees will have the opportunity to both engage in discussions and also participate in an interactive exercise with the leading expert in the field of “virtual distance” - with the objective of learning how to best tackle these challenges and implement solutions for working with team members in different locations.

Effective internal support is also critical in helping groups maximize their potential. Attendees will learn from a panel of Chief Practice Officers how they provide support to the group leaders and their hands-on experience with what works and what doesn’t for getting groups operating effectively. 

And then of course we must address the marketing, sales, and client service aspects… Does your firm invest in an institutional understanding of who its clients really are and how to properly address their needs? Attendees will hear first-hand, from the founder of the professions’ leading client research firm concerning why some practices thrive, while others dwindle. 

And finally, we will conclude our day by venturing outside the comfortable corridors of our profession to hear from one of the most distinguished leaders in the accounting world to address what they might be doing that law firms can learn from and put to use.

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.

Michael Rynowecer

Michael Rynowecer, as President and Founder of The BTI Consulting Group, looks at every angle of the professional services relationship, starting with the client perspective, to drive growth. This fascination has driven him to direct, conduct and analyze more than 14,000 one-on-one interviews with C-level executives to define their expectations, needs, priorities, preferences, hiring decisions and opinions of the professionals with whom they work.

Philip Selinger

Co-Chair, Global Litigation Practice, Greenberg Traurig,


Tom Schulte

Head of the Americas Banking & Finance Practice, Clifford Chance

Richard H. Moche


Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo

Chair, Public Finance, Real Estate, Bankruptcy and Environmental Division

Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski

Founder & CEO, Virtual Distance International

Catherine Woodward Gill

Chief Practice Management Officer, Goodwin Proctor LLP

Steve DeBruyn

Chief Practice Officer, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Allan D. Koltin

CEO, Koltin Consulting Group Inc.

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