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Motivating Attorneys To Accomplish Firm Objectives

Absent the willingness or inability of first tier partners to create an environment in which blossoming attorneys can achieve their personal, professional and economic objectives, the likelihood is that these very attractive partners may leave to join other law firms.

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Among the more recent trends, it would appear that first generation law firms are becoming increasingly aware of the need to develop an effective method of motivating their partners. Generally, these firms were established approximately 30 to 40 years ago by individuals who are still reasonably active in the daily affairs of the practice. As a rule, the founding partners were capable of attracting — as well as producing — client work. Their success resulted in additional work that required the recruitment of more lawyers and enabled the firm to expand. Typically, the individual attorneys were bright and competent, and for the most part recruited to produce the work that was being generated by the founding partners. Over a period of time, however, it became evident that many of these second tier attorneys were unable or unwilling to: 1) personalize their relationships with certain of the firm’s key clients that were brought to the firm by the founding partners; or 2) attract new business to the firm and challenge the founders for leadership of the firm.

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