Consulting

Firm Leader draws on 50 years of combined experience – much of it inside law firms – to address the problems and opportunities facing practice and industry groups, client teams, and individual partners in a competitive and unstable world. We help them to meet the challenges they face and, often, to recognize them as transformative opportunities.

Our approach is pragmatic and efficient, and we do not typically engage in open-ended, lengthy consulting engagements. We focus on fully understanding the problem or opportunity your firm wants to address, collaborating on the best approach for your firm, and then working with you to produce results quickly.

We provide consulting services primarily in the following areas:

Strategic Planning and Execution

Groups and client teams often struggle to create plans that all partners “own” and execute on. We help them to design planning processes that engage their members – and then to produce results.

Effective Leadership

We consult with firms and individual leaders to enable partners to lead effectively even when they devote only part of their time to leading and when the group they lead is large and complex.

Talent Management

As clients press for efficiency as well as quality, firms must draw the best possible performance from all their lawyers and persuade the good ones to stay. We help firms and practice groups create processes that lead lawyers at all levels to do their best work and remain committed to the firm. Among other areas of focus, we:

  • Advise about steps firms can take to support the changes in behavior they would like to result from their training programs.
  • Design and conduct upward and 360-degree reviews.
  • Advise on improvements to evaluation processes and competency frameworks.
  • Review and redesign training curricula.

Group and Team Performance

Firms call on us to work with groups whose effectiveness is hampered by tensions among their members or, simply, a lack of cohesiveness and common purpose. We suit our approach to the group and its situation, drawing on an array of resources and methods that include interviews, facilitated discussions among the group’s members, surveys and assessments, the creation of group communication and planning processes, and leadership training.

 

Coaching

We provide coaching in high-value situations to address specifics needs of individuals, primarily partners, and groups. Our coaching most often focuses on:

  • Becoming a more effective leader
  • Adopting more consistent, effective methods for developing business
  • Dealing with tensions or conflicts among partners
  • Managing associates effectively

Whatever the primary focus, coaching engagements usually open up a range of related issues, such as time management, interpersonal skills, or influencing skills. When appropriate, we draw on individual or group assessments to help explore these underlying issues.

Our coaching emphasizes the practical steps that individuals or groups can take to:

  • Establish objectives
  • Create measurable goals for the short and long term
  • Prepare action steps toward their goals

Although we do not encourage long, open-ended coaching engagements, we typically continue to coach until the client is sure that new behaviors or methods have taken root and will persist.

Firm Leader provides coaching through its principals and its affiliated consultant, Bonny Forrest, JD, PhD. Dr. Forrest is a psychologist who practiced for many years as a lawyer in major firms and financial institutions.

This is an overview of our services. Each client is different and the plan we prepare for each engagement will vary based on the unique culture of the firm and its specific needs.