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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 10: Treating everyone professionally

John M. Westcott

Extract

As law firms have grown, they need to attract talented lawyers who often have difficulties dealing with others. Unfortunately, talent in a lawyer is also accompanied by ambition and high standards for others. If most lawyers conduct themselves responsibly and if the leaders, particularly, treat people fairly and encouragingly, the occasional bad behavior of a few individuals in some thoughtless moments will not be seen by most members of the community as carrying great weight. Law firms are generally very attractive places to work, because everyone is committed to his job. But a law firm should encourage positive behavior, because that will be inspirational to others. Leaders of law firms have a big task in leading an independent-minded, talented group of people with large egos, but a few well-placed leader/partners with the proper attitude will go a long way in setting the right example.

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