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Law Firm Management Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Law Firm Partners Law Firm Profitability Law Firms - Mid Size

Motivating Attorneys to Accomplish Firm Objectives

The two major challenges now facing lawyer management in many of these mid-size firms are: 1) how to motivate the non-entrepreneurial attorneys to achieve and to perform; and 2) how to retain the "over-achiever" attorneys so they will remain with the firm.


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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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