For Managing Partners: A Questionnaire for Practice Leaders

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Achieving a full complement of high-functioning Practice Group Leaders remains an elusive goal in many law firms. Most Managing Partners tell us they do not have enough high quality leadership at the practice group level and thus have one or more chronically underperforming practice groups. Frequently we observe that a firm has a few outstanding Practice Group Leaders, one or two poor ones, and the rest somewhere in between.

If it’s true (as we think) that law firms compete primarily at the practice group level and that the effectiveness of a firm’s practice group leadership is a key indicator of law firm performance and growth, then it is imperative to continue to improve the functioning of your firm’s practice group structure and the effectiveness of your practice leaders.

In addition to regular meetings of the Practice Group Leaders where they exchange best practices, check in with administrators and deal with scheduled obligations, we recommend that the firm’s Management Committee meet once or twice a year with the full group of practice leaders to take their temperature, answer questions, revisit firm goals, discuss expectations and rewards and orient new practice heads.

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