Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

8 Tips From NC’s Cutting-Edge Law Firms

On March 12, many of the state’s forward-thinking firms will gather in Raleigh to brainstorm how to thrive in today’s rapidly changing legal landscape.

There’s a seat at the table for you.

Last year, 80 participants from 67 law firms and 46 cities across North Carolina convened at the inaugural NC Managing Partner Summit. They learned from experts and each other about what works and what doesn’t in the modern legal marketplace.

The second annual NC Managing Partner Summit will continue exploring ways to keep your firm on top through cutting-edge solutions to 21st century challenges.

The summit will be held March 12 at the State Bar headquarters in Raleigh.

Register here.

From Cyber Safety to Succession Planning

Among the topics for the Second Annual NC Managing Partner Summit:

  • New blueprints for growth
  • Innovations for business development
  • Reducing cyber-risk and improving data security
  • Law firm succession and transition planning
  • Attracting and keeping top talent
  • Maintaining wellness and dealing with impaired lawyers

Keynote speaker Timothy B. Corcoran will show firms how to leverage technology and put ideas into operation. He is a faculty member at the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management, and author of the popular Corcoran’s Business of Law blog.

8 Takeaways From the 2018 Managing Partner Summit 

  1. Dealing with Legal Zoom, Avvo and other non-traditional providers. They are here to stay. They are transforming the legal market. And more will be coming. Wise firms will take note of the market gap that these providers are filling and change their internal processes – ie, leveraging automation and technology, making documents available online – to boost their bottom line.
  1. Having someone in charge. Not every firm has a designated managing partner. But all have some sort of managing committee, office manager or partner in charge of keeping the train running on time. Smart firms are grooming new lawyers for future leadership roles.
  1. Succession planning. Baby boomers – who fill a disproportionate percentage of leadership positions – are retiring. Small firms worry about what will happen if one of the partners leaves or can no longer practice. Large firms are implementing mentoring and leadership programs to prepare the next generation to take over. Smaller firms are often surprised to discover their firm has value – and can be sold on the open market. For firms of all sizes, a succession blueprint is essential.
  1. Firm meetings and retreats. Ongoing dialogue and interaction are important for growth. What are we doing right? How can we improve? Some firms bring in outside speakers for retreats. One firm asks staff to develop and present ideas at meetings. Some firms do a single day retreat at the office; others do off-site overnights.
  1. Working remotely. Many firms allow some flexibility in scheduling – often as a benefit to experienced lawyers who have proven their ability. New lawyers want flexibility.
  1. Wellness ideas. Happy and content lawyers are productive lawyers. Every firm must figure out what makes each lawyer tick, and then encourage that. Some firms have on-site gyms. One has what they call their R & R room for lawyers to rest. Another has a room informally known as the nap room.
  1. Open office concept. Office designs cover the spectrum. Some firms have traditional offices. Others combine offices, cubicles and shared work areas. The new generation wants collaborative spaces. One firm has a café with foosball, popcorn machine, lounge areas, and a health and wellness center. These spaces build a sense of community and reduce turnover and attrition. Regardless of the floor plan, the personal touch – walking the halls, seeing and being seen – is important.
  1. Performance reviews. Eighty percent of firms have a formal process for evaluating performance. Best practices: use a standard form, review goals annually, recommend ways to improve for next year. New lawyers appreciate immediate feedback, especially if positive.

 

Want in on the action? Sign up for the Second Annual Managing Partner Summit today.

About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

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