Today’s law firm is an entity in flux. Economic and technological disruption– along with a range of other factors – have contributed to this change, meaning that firms are not what they used to be. It is therefore a necessity that the way they are managed also needs to change. This means, among many things, the need to corporatize the running of the firm; a move away from the focus on the billable hour towards more intangible activities such as business development and marketing and –perhaps the most important factor – the development of a new kind of leader within the legal landscape.
The new kind of leader now demanded by a transformed legal profession is not readily forthcoming, however. Legal culture stresses individualism and independence, which is reinforced by firm governance,
practice management, and performance management systems that are ill-suited to foster supportive and collaborative leadership practices; lawyers are trained and conditioned to be combative, autonomous, and didactic.1 To position oneself as a contender in a fast-moving and competitive market, the legal leader of the future must push back against these trends by acting strategically, engaging in people management, investing in their employees, and creating a working environment that places emphasis on communication, teamwork, and growth and development.
Legal leadership: a handbook for future success combines the latest and most relevant intelligence from those on the frontline of law firm leadership and management, to serve as the catalyst for change and the foundation on which a strong leadership practice can be built. Drawing on their expertise and experience, our authors – ranging from behavioral psychologists to senior management figures and pofessional coaches –present a wide range of competencies and strategies to cultivate as part of a leader’s personal and professional development. Whether you are already a member of your firm’s senior management, or in a junior position with big aspirations, Legal leadership: a handbook for future success provides the essential tools to equip you to become a leader of the future.
Chapter 1: Leadership maturity and individual change – are you stepping up to meet your firm’s needs?
By Ian Paterson, founding partner at Cote Consultants
Chapter 2: The fundamental challenges facing any new or future leader
By Patrick J McKenna, internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist, and advisor
Chapter 3: Does your personality influence your potential for partnership?
By Edward Walker, director at Anima & Atman
Chapter 4: The changing role of leadership in law firms – from partner-led to corporate leadership
By Gabriella O’Rourke, national director, practice management at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)
Chapter 5: Strategic planning for law firm leaders – a primer
By Harry Trueheart, chair emeritus of Nixon Peabody LLP
Chapter 6: Leading a high-performing legal team
By Russell Borland and Thomas Chalmers, executive coaches and founding partners of Leading Figures
Chapter 7: Humanizing law firm leadership
By Dr Bob Murray and Dr Alicia Fortinberry, internationally renowned experts in strategy, leadership, and behavioral change
Chapter 8: “Soft skills” make tough lawyers
By Rosalie Chamberlain, principal of Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching
Chapter 9: Reclaiming the next generation – understanding and leveraging millennials in your workplace
By Katherine M Larkin-Wong, associate at Latham & Watkins LLP