Effective Practice Group Leadership

Law firm practice group leadership is not for the faint hearted.

As firms compete increasingly at practice group level, leaders are being asked to run their groups like business units; to develop and implement a strategic plan that supports the goals and competitiveness of the firm; and to coordinate and lead their partners to enhance the efficiency, performance, and profitability of their groups. Many firm leaders complain that some of their group heads are not producing the results they want to see. But how many practice group leaders receive the tools and support they need to succeed in this critical role? How many are selected for demonstrable leadership skills? And how often are they held accountable for how well – or otherwise – they perform in the role?

With contributions from a wide range of experts, Effective Practice Group Leadership explores these key questions and more. The book examines the demanding role of the practice group leader (PGL) in law firms today, the challenges of the role – from gaining buy-in for group initiatives to approaches to measuring and managing performance of the leader and the group – and demonstrates the enormous contribution PGLs can make to the profitability and performance of their law firms, when armed with the tools and the authority.


The role of practice group leaders in their law firms

  •     Duties and responsibilities
  •     Planning
  •     Productivity
  •     Economic performance
  •     New client/new matter intake and file assignment procedures#
  •     Associate mentoring, compensation adjustments, and growth
  •     Partner compensation recommendations
  •     Marketing
  •     Succession planning
  •     Lateral candidate opportunities
  •     Concluding comment

The practice group leader as a change agent

  •     What does it mean to be a change agent in your role as a PGL?  
  •     What else does a PGL need to be a change agent?  
  •     How does a PGL succeed as a change agent?  
  •     Benefits of being a change agent

The plight of the practice group leader, Part 1: Implementing practice initiatives

  •     Practice initiatives a leader can pursue
  •     Learning the magic – How to get lawyers to follow through on collaboration and productivity commitments

The plight of the practice group leader, part 2: The costs and benefits of investing in practice group leaders

  •     The cost side
  •     Why do it?
  •     Can the leader pay his keep?
  •     The problem of getting work
  •     The need to empower the leader
  •     How to do it?
  •     Appendix: The law firm economic model (hourly billing)

Developing a practice group pricing strategy

  •     Why pricing strategies cannot be developed at a firm level
  •     Essential elements of a practice group pricing strategy

Focusing your practice team on industry clients

  •     It is not what you call the industry, it is what the client calls itself that is most important
  •     As all industries eventually mature they naturally fracture into multiple sub-industries
  •     There are some areas of opportunity that initially defy simple industry categorization
  •     Industry sector expertise is a key differentiator

How to survive and succeed leading a multi-generational practice group

  •     Challenges
  •     Solutions
  •     Change management

Leading collaboration across practice groups
Implementing the balanced scorecard at the practice group level

  •     The balanced scorecard – An overview of Kaplan and Norton’s system
  •     The balanced scorecard in its most basic form
  •     The balanced scorecard as a management tool
  •     Implementing the balanced scorecard at the practice group level – A “how to” primer
Effective Practice Group Leadership

Price: £249
ISBN: 978-1-78358-302-7
Format: Paperback