Ensuring Practice Group Effectiveness

by Sterling on March 7, 2014

Our joint research project with the Managing Partners Forum continues and our topic in February 2014  was practice group management.  Specifically, are there particular responsibilities practice group leaders should be taking on in order to drive effective practice management?  In addition, what kinds of base level support are firms providing to practice leaders (e.g., job descriptions clarifying the role, training for leaders, etc.)?

At the core, we found that firms experiencing higher levels of success with practice group management have different (and higher) expectations for their practice leaders.   Firms reporting the highest levels of success with practice group management ask their practice leaders to take on more responsibilities – the most common responsibilities in more successful firms can be summarized as:

  • Strategic planning for the group;
  • Work flow management (right people on the right matters at the right time);
  • Coordination and encouragement of teamwork, esprit and morale;
  • Coordinating and encouraging marketing to new clients;
  • Coordinating and encouraging professional development and training.

Those top responsibilities are depicted graphically below.

Top six effective firms

A complete documentation of the results of this survey on practice group management can be found at the Managing Partners Forum web site.  We welcome your questions and feedback regarding these findings.

Our March 2014 research focuses on best practices in law firm strategic planning.  Highlights will be presented here, a full write-up of results will be published at the Managing Partners Forum, and a more in-depth article will be developed for and published in the June edition of Legal Management magazine.

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