Thursday, 17 February 2011

How to be the best law firm

What factors do you believe contribute to the success of a law firm?

Money and reputation are a given but what about job satisfaction, staff morale, low staff turnover, professional recognition and preferment?   

In his recent paper on ‘Law firms and the formula for success’, Stephen Mayson considers all the above to be important contributors to the success of a firm and I consider this to be great news!   I often work with solicitors who are struggling to find career development opportunities and as a result their job satisfaction, morale and commitment are low.   How does the contribution of these individuals help drive forward the success of the firm?

Stephen considers staff contribution to be one of 3 principal factors which contributes to the relative success of a law firm.  In this respect, he primarily refers to the contribution of partners and writes about the importance of connecting what the firm needs its partners to do with what the partners actually do.   He discusses the scenario of partners committing to an agreed total contribution of hours within which they must achieve all those things collectively required of them to make the firm successful.  This consists of both chargeable and other time and therefore recognises that doing more chargeable hours at the expense of other investments that the firm requires is unlikely to foster sustainable success.   Furthermore, he states that personal plans should play on the partners’ individual strengths and become relevant on a daily basis.   The partners’ contribution to the firm’s profitability is then a measure of the return on partners’ total contribution of chargeable and investment time.

I believe this scenario can be of great benefit to all solicitors.  The solicitors I have coached often say their strengths and interests are not being utilised, the opportunities for career development are limited, and they are becoming disillusioned with the daily chore of meeting chargeable hour targets.  This affects job satisfaction, staff morale and staff turnover which are all important contributors to the success of the firm.  Just think of the fantastic potential that is released when aspirations and strengths are matched to the wider objectives of the law firm.

 What factors do you believe contribute to the success of a law firm?
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