Management Skills

In a world where clients demand efficiency as well as quality, lawyers have to learn how to manage others as effectively as they manage their own work. Our programs teach the management skills that don’t come instinctively to most lawyers.

The programs can be conducted for partners, senior associates or mid-level associates with the content modified for the audience. The topics can be combined into half-day or longer, retreat-style programs. Click here for a sample agenda of a half-day program.

Firm Leader curriculum:

Managing from the Middle

Delegating and supervising to produce the best work

Based on scores of interviews with lawyers who are outstanding supervisors of work and people, this workshop provides detailed, practical advice for delegating and supervising so that others do their best work for you.

Leading Teams and Managing Projects

Planning, organizing, and keeping fast-moving teams on track and motivated

The skills required to lead a team effectively go far beyond those required to delegate to an individual. This workshop focuses on higher-level organizational and motivational skills: the managerial skills required to plan, budget, and execute complex matters, and the leadership skills required to motivate professionals and build loyal teams for the long haul.

Managing Across Differing Styles

Recognizing and adapting to the range of managerial and communication styles

To work effectively with colleagues and clients, lawyers have to become adept at working with people who have different styles of communicating, organizing work, and making decisions – and they have to understand how others react to their own instinctive styles. Drawing on a Myers-Briggs Step II assessment that participants complete before the program, this workshop enables them to recognize “style” differences more quickly and manage them more effectively.

 Effective Feedback and Coaching

Investing your time effectively to improve others’ performance and motivation

Lawyers often shy away from giving feedback because they fear any form of criticism will damage the recipient’s confidence or willingness to work with them. That’s an unfounded fear. Properly delivered, even critical feedback can not only improve performance but also build motivation and strengthen working relationships. This workshop addresses two topics: weaving more coaching into a working relationship, and delivering critical feedback constructively.

Avoiding Unconscious Bias in Feedback and Evaluations

If we are all susceptible to unconscious bias, how can we interrupt its effects?

As research in law firms and elsewhere proves, even people who are dedicated to avoiding bias are susceptible to the unconscious bias that results from the automatic cognitive processes hard-wired into our brains. This workshop describes how unconscious bias can intrude as we work with and assess others and, most important, how we can spot and cure those effects.

Writing and Delivering Performance Evaluations

Shaping performance evaluations so they actually improve performance

This workshop can be designed either for lawyers who contribute written comments to a firm’s evaluation process or for partners who deliver evaluations to associates. In either case, its goal is to help them shape the evaluation so that it has the greatest effect on the recipient’s performance and motivation.