Running a successful law practice requires not only the right legal talent, but top management skills as well. Great leadership is key to an efficient, highly productive legal team. Staff loyalty, an invaluable asset in such a competitive profession, also needs the nurturing of a good manager.
So what makes a successful leader? Inspiration and intuition can be part of effective law firm management. But developing these skills also requires time, commitment and engagement.
1. Keep your feet on the ground
Don’t let yourself become detached from the steps needed to build strong teams of people and maximize their value to your organization. You can strengthen your firm’s health by placing a priority on retention, reduced hiring costs and training. Another way to be a better manager is to think creatively and try new methods of professional development and training. Consider establishing a mentoring program at your firm. Showing a younger law professional the importance of client and employee relationships keeps you fresh and anchored to the personal elements of law firm management and can instill a better sense of teamwork among your staff.
2. Delegate more
Ultimately, practicing the art of delegation can build confidence and morale in your law office. Empowering your legal team members to handle more duties can free up more of your time to focus on big-picture matters crucial to your firm’s goals. Delegation is tricky for some. It requires a level of trust in your team that may feel uncomfortable at first, but stick with it. When you realize how much your up-and-coming stars have to offer the team as a whole, you’ll be glad you shared the burden.
3. Get educated about law firm management
Leadership training courses and other continuing legal education (CLE) opportunities are great ways to develop your management acumen. You’ll learn about subjects ranging from employee conflict resolution to managing growth, all in a way that’s tailored to your schedule and needs. Many schools even offer group rates if you know other partners or managers who may be interested.
Remember, it’s up to you to choose the path of building strong teams of lawyers and maximizing their value to your firm. Even in an extremely stressful environment, you can opt to improve your law firm management skills and reap the rewards of growth as you go. A little investment in your management technique now can propel your firm to being a more efficient, effective and satisfying place to work.