Too busy serving clients to invest in the future
Keith Mayfield, chairman of an AmLaw 100 firm, is pondering recent one-on-one meetings he held with his practice group leaders. Most had lots of ideas about
how to make their groups work better. But progress has been very slow all around.
“As soon as I get a break in client work I'm going to get the checklists initiative going,” said one leader hopefully.
“I sent an e-mail two months ago asking our lawyers to send their recent good precedents to our paralegal but we've hardly collected anything,” complains another.
“I can't get anyone in our group to update our intranet and the paralegal doesn't know enough about the substance to do it himself,” says a third leader in frustration.
Keith realizes that the common thread is that client work is too pressing for everyone. All his firm's lawyers are too busy serving the present to invest in the future. But he's unsure how to break the cycle.
There is a way that works
My ABA group is sponsoring a free webinar this Thursday at 12:00 Noon, Eastern (30 minutes), that addresses Keith's problem – how to get busy practitioners to make the time for practice group improvement projects at large and medium sized firms. The webinar features a case study by a practice group leader at Chapman & Cutler who explains his techniques for advancing his group's improvements in collaboration and avoiding re-inventing the wheel. His firm leveraged the group's success to make similar improvements in other practice groups.
The webinar also features the leader of the practice innovation program at 700-lawyer Baker Donelson. The program, which has been operating successfully for over 10 years, extends to all practice groups. This leader describes how the firm has been able to move from their first initiatives to a holistic approach that incorporates practice innovation into firm culture.
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