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The Law Firm of the Future

Adapting to a Changed Legal Marketplace

John M. Westcott

During the “golden age of law firm growth” from the late 1960s until 2007, most large law firms adopted a default growth strategy, increasing practice areas and offices, aided by the momentum of the tail winds of law firm growth. Since the recession of 2008-2009, however, the legal marketplace has drastically changed. In this timely book, Jay Westcott suggests strategic building blocks that firms can adopt in order to adapt themselves to this radical change and prosper as lasting institutions.
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Chapter 7: Evaluating lawyers

John M. Westcott

Extract

The excellence of its lawyers is the factor that will distinguish a firm from its competitors. Substantive excellence will differentiate a firm from the pack, so everyone in the firm should be concentrating on improvement as a tenet of firm culture. Every firm should evaluate each associate regularly, in order to give him the best chance to develop. Every partner should be evaluated regularly, because strong partners and weak partners need feedback and the opportunity to improve. Lateral partners should be evaluated as regular lawyers in the firm so they do not get preferential treatment. It is important to take care in the evaluation of lawyers, in order to stress the firm’s values.

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