Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog

Category: Managing law firm staff

Sep 10, 2013

Handling Law Office Staff That Can’t Get Along


I am the managing partner in an eight attorney firm in Chicago. We are having problems with office staff members getting along. Office conflict is rampant. Any suggestions?


You should begin by identifying some of the causes. Poor communications often can be the root cause of such problems. Interview each of your staff 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 job descriptions for each employee and clarify roles, duties, and responsibilities for each employee. Conduct short weekly staff meetings to enhance communications. Use agendas. Take and publish notes of the meetings. Advise everyone 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 employees.

Maybe it is time to hire a firm administrator of business manager and let them deal with it.

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


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