Adapting to a Changed Legal Marketplace
Chapter 12: Succession planning
Firms should encourage full participation from every partner, because firm management is counting on them to do the little acts of leadership every day, which makes the large firm run efficiently and competitively and distinguishes the firm as an outstanding firm. I believe a large law firm should spread the responsibility of leadership widely among a number of partners, both to ensure that leadership tasks are carried out internally but also to have a broad-based leadership of the partnership and keep most partners motivated. Most partners learn a great deal from performing management duties, and this forms the base for the education of partners who will be the future leaders of the firm. Furthermore, succession planning is easier where a firm has a large number of partners involved in management. A nominating committee may be useful in succession planning, consulting with the leaders of the various professional departments and the leading business-getting partners. Without support from those partners, a new leader is unlikely to be successful.
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