Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog

Category: Law firm management team performance

May 28, 2012

Improving Law Firm Management Team Performance


Our firm has 24 attorneys. We are managed by a management team consisting of a managing partner (25% of his time), a full-time office administrator, controller, and marketing director. I am currently serving as the managing partner. Recently we have been having conflict between various members of the management team. Our team meetings are stressful and I fear that our effectiveness is being compromised. Do you any suggestions?


I suggest you start by identifying some of the causes. Poor communications often can be the root cause of such problems. Interview each of your team members individually and probe. What do they think? Is communications a problem? Are roles, duties, and responsibilities clarified? Lack of clarity can in these areas can lead to turf wars. You may want to design a team charter as well as job descriptions for each employee and clarify roles, duties, and responsibilities for each team member. Conduct short weekly team meetings to enhance communications. Use agendas. Take minutes of the meetings. Advise each team member of your expectations including all members working together as team members. Let them know that working together as a team is a performance factor that will be considered in performance evaluations and reviews. Conduct periodic performance reviews. Counsel and take action against problem team members.

Take stock of your performance as well. Are you micro managing the team or second guessing team members? Have you honed your leadership skills? If not – work on your management and leadership skills as well and consider coaching and leadership training if necessary.

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John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

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