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Category Archives: Retention

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Stress for Better and Worse

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” lists stress and burnout as the top two issues leaders worldwide wrestle with. “Burnout” is a syndrome caused by excessive stress which can produce physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  Burnout is the end game… Continue Reading

Muir to Speak at ABA Webinar on Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
On Friday, February 13th, at 1 to 2 ET, Muir and psychologist Rob Durr will be presenting a program on EQ: What it is and Why it Matters in an American Bar Association Career Advice webinar.  They will be discussing how high emotional intelligence can transform a good lawyer into a great one. Learn: What emotional intelligence is… Continue Reading

Fixing the Leaky Pipeline and Other Gender Developments

Posted in Books, Diversity, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Work/Life Balance
There’s been some good news in the women-in-law category over the last few years. For years, women hovered in the range of 15%-18% of partners in most law firms. Both Debevoise and Cravath have been leaders in changing that–with women comprising a solid 50% average of both firms’ new partners over a five-year period.  The 2011 NAFE/Flex-Time Lawyers… Continue Reading

How Was Your Mental Health Day?

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
World Mental Health Day was Friday, October 10th.  How did yours go? Did your firm or department remind you not to work such long hours that you lose your critical thinking edge or alienate the personal ties that keep you grounded and productive?  Did you get a refresher on how to deal with stress and its… Continue Reading

Competitors of the Future Arriving Now

Posted in Business Development, Compensation, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized
Maybe it’s just us, but the announcement of the departure from Fried Frank of a former managing partner and some of her department carries with it intimations of several current trends in the law business: the British are coming, the accounting firms are coming, and you’d better take a second look at both your profitability and your… Continue Reading

The Intersection of Law and Psychology

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
On February 21-22 of this year, the Boyd School of Law and Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas held a very interesting conference on Psychology and Lawyering.  Attendance and enthusiasm were high and organizers anticipate future conferences well-fueled with the expanding research on these related areas. Here are some… Continue Reading

Telling it Straight

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Jennifer Alvey “is a recovering lawyer who was once one of the 20% of Feelers in law firms.”  Now she coaches other lawyers in the Nashville area, many of whom are miserable practicing law. In her post “Why Are There So Many Asshole Lawyers?”, she tells it straight about her and her clients’ experiences in “dysfunctional”… Continue Reading

Diversity in Personal Style

Posted in Announcements, Conflict, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Muir spoke at the Center for Legal Inclusiveness Summit  in Denver, Colorado on Monday, May 12, a well-run event drawing people from all directions, despite a spring snowstorm.  Muir’s topic was “Achieving the Advantages of Diversity in Personal Style,” a review of the narrow personal style profile that prevails in many legal organizations, the hazards… Continue Reading

The Decline of the Seduction of Practicing Law

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized
If there were any question as to whether there is an over-supply of lawyers in the US, the recent spate of reports should lay that to rest. As Steve Harper noted in a January American Lawyer article, “Eighty-five percent of today’s newest lawyers are carrying six-figure law school debt. Only about half of all those graduating… Continue Reading

The Thing About Blind Spots

Posted in Assessments, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork
Discrimination comes in all forms. In our 2011 entry on the dismissal of an EEOC suit against Bloomberg, we noted that Karen Lockwood, a senior female partner in Howrey, a Washington D.C. firm and then president of the D.C. Women’s Bar Association, made a distinction between discrimination and unconscious bias: “Law firms are way beyond discrimination…… Continue Reading

The Caring Angle

Posted in Assessments, Culture, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
Law firm and law department managers who are using “caring” management strategies in response to the economic downturn are examples of playing nicely in the legal sandbox.  And research demonstrates that, again, being nice pays off. According to a recent study by Grdinovac and Yancey entitled “How organizational adaptations to recession relate to organizational commitment,” published… Continue Reading

What About Just Being Nice?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Compensation, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So you’re not really feeling the love?  Or even the compassion?  How about being nice–can you at least get into being nice? Fitting nicely into our recent blog posts about the more heartful arts, the November/December 2013 issue of the ABA Law Practice Magazine is entitled “The Business of Giving,” and features a story entitled “Being Nice.”… Continue Reading

The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Mindful of Rev. King’s exhortation to leaven power with love, remember the Doonesbury character Woodrow proclaiming “By God, I love the law!”  Well, there’s a perspective afoot in the legal industry that may take that sentiment and turn it on its head.  It sounds something like “the law is all about love!” According to an… Continue Reading

The Value of a Law Degree

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized
The law school viability debate continues to rage, with enough fingers to point in every possible direction.  A recent study entitled “The Economic Value of a Law Degree,” and dubbed by one commentator “the one paper every law professor and law school dean should read,” supports the law school view, decrying the “hue and cry… made… Continue Reading

And Further in the Bad News Department…

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized
As if we needed any further confirmation of the dropping demand for legal services, TyMetrix, the giant electronic billing clearing house, recently reported their “LegalView Legal Market Index,”  based on the purchases of legal services by the LegalView 70.  These are 70 large corporate clients across eight industries, 21 of which are Fortune 500, with… Continue Reading

Collaborative Culture and Office Geography

Posted in Communication, Conflict, Culture, Law Departments, Management, Productivity, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Emergence of the C-Suite Today’s law firm looking to achieve a more business-like operation is often replicating many of the senior officers that businesses have, setting up or bulking up a C-Suite.  In addition to a Managing Partner or CEO, there may well be a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer,… Continue Reading

Clueless at the Top?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Innovation, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
While workers with high emotional intelligence are consistently the best performers on all steps of the corporate ladder, interestingly enough it is those at the top level of management who have the lowest overall average emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)  in organizations. Prompting one journalist to contend that “Your Boss Probably Wouldn’t Pass Yale’s Emotional Intelligence… Continue Reading

Shall We Raise the Profits of Partners?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
The Altman-Weil 5th annual survey of law firm leaders has been recently published to much commentary. Some of the more striking results of the survey relate to leaders’ assessment of the market challenges (primarily reflecting the viewpoints of 250+lawyer law firms) and their firms’ ability to meet them.  Over the next 24 months, most managers cited the… Continue Reading

Communist Leadership and Pornography

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of China, while touring a  job fair in Tianjin last week, China’s President Xi Jiping  answered his own question to a local official as to what the critical ingredients of  good Communist leaders are. “Intelligence quotient and emotional quotient – which is more important?” the president evidently asked.  When the official answered “both,” it was reported that… Continue Reading

Culture and Competence

Posted in Client Service, Communication, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention
The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and TAGLaw recently published a survey showing the value of their culture to the growth strategies of mid-sized law firms. First, these high-culture awareness firms view culture as a key factor in attracting laterals, with 70% of the firms ranking it… Continue Reading

Lawyer Personalities at Above the Law

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
Above the Law columnist Susan Moon, an in-house lawyer at Wyndham Worldwide, gave our The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers a nice plug last week, just hours after much of the data in it was discussed at a presentation at Yale Law School.  An older article (since updated) and a “bit on the dry side,”… Continue Reading

Muir to Present at Yale Law School

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir, Esq., will present a seminar at Yale Law School on March 13, 2013 on "The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers–Strategies for a Successful and Satisfying Career."  She will review data from research with respect to personality assessments, positive psychology, conflict management, the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and emotional intelligence showing the particular characteristics of lawyers that… Continue Reading

Attrition is Back!

Posted in Compensation, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
A question was posed recently in the press: – "Why are lawyers such terrible managers?"  The article appeared in CNN’s online Money/Fortune magazine.  It cites statistics from the National Association for Legal Professionals Foundation that in 2010 law firms with 100 and fewer lawyers and 251-500 attorneys lost nearly one fifth of their associates.  This is after the… Continue Reading