Over the past 20 years, professional service firms have invested in their professional development programs. They have hired full-time staff and engaged partners in leading and teaching programs. The strengths of these programs are in substantive topics and practical skills in matters like appropriate professional writing, transactional expertise and client relations. These programs are more robust in orientation and the junior years. However, firms also invest in outside expertise for four reasons:
- they have less to offer in areas such as management skills, leadership and business development;
- outside trainers have a broader knowledge base in some areas, and bring well-structured and highly evaluated courses to the firm;
- internal firm changes such as a leadership turnover, a merger or lateral acquisitions require training and implicit bonding around common goals; and
- client demands for services like Legal Project Management drive a need for immediate training.
Edge consultants have long-standing credentials in delivering tailored training courses in these areas:
- management of self and others (see “How to Run a Remote Working Meeting”)
- leadership skills and development at both mid-career and partner levels (see “Tailored Talent Supervision” for further insights)
- small group business development training followed by individual coaching
- legal project management.
Edge also provides advisory services to help firms support their professional development and business development departments. We assist with:
- lateral partner integration, especially after mergers or movements of new groups into the firm (see “Lateral Partner Integration: Beyond the Book of Business”, for further insights)
- supporting professional development with interactive program design, curriculum development and train-the-trainer programs (see Case Studies: Legal Innovators for more insights)
- creating or improving new partner development programs
- improved governance of the professional development and business development functions.
Because we are also strategy consultants our training and advisory services are always linked to the firm’s strategic goals. We promote leadership and individual development that keeps firm strategy “top of mind”.
Our professional development programs have various formats:
- in-person courses at the firm
- online courses in management skills
- retreats, plus follow up activities with smaller groups
- consulting on building and distinguishing the firm’s professional development reputation (a recruiting advantage)
- coaching of individual partners, often as a supplement to initial training. (see Leadership and Coaching solution)