The key to successful law firm management is implementation. The action force on any firm management activity is best applied at the level closest to the day-to-day practice of law, typically by the practice group.
The popularity of the practice group seems well grounded in that it offers a number of advantages to managing a practice and its services. But with all its advantages, there exists a propensity to misuse the practice group concept, even as it strives to serve the firm’s objectives. (See “Avoiding Pitfalls in the Practice Group Structure”).
Practice groups can become competitive within a firm to the extent that it may be detrimental to the overall health of the firm and impede the achievement of its strategic goals. Usually this results from excessive autonomy and/or focus on practice group profitability. The leadership of practice groups must be aligned to firm strategy such that groups understand their roles, responsibilities and expected contributions. In a well-managed firm, there should be cohesiveness that transcends any individual or practice.
Edge has worked with firms to
- design a practice group structure (including roles, responsibilities and performance measurement)
- assist in the development of practice group plans
- train and coach practice group leaders
- advise members of practice groups on how to maximize their opportunities
- achieve the benefits of interacting with other groups