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Firm Culture

Have you heard the joke about the five myths about happy lawyers? Here comes the punch line… There aren’t any! While everyone has a lawyer joke up their sleeve, the truth is there are plenty of happy lawyers. But if that statement is true, then why would more than half of attorneys say they would not choose to become lawyers again, if given the chance to start over? For many, that answer could be traced directly back to their firm culture.

When was the last time you were asked about your firm culture? And what was your first reaction? This doesn’t come easy for some. But on the brighter side, some law firms are starting to redefine themselves. It starts with listening to their partners and associates, and conducting smart, approachable, exit interviews. Yet there is another voice begging to be heard, and that voice is listening closely to what other lateral partners are sharing about their experiences and reasons for wanting to leave their current firm. Can you hear it? We do and we listen carefully so we can use this information to assist our clients in retention and growth initiatives.

How do you rate your firm culture? Is it a positive place to work? Does your firm offer flex and/or part-time schedules? Is there a retention program designed to reward those lawyers over a 7- or 10-year period?

One of my favorite clients has a full floor dedicated to a full-service gym, including a half court basketball court. Three times a week, during the lunch hour, they will have 3-on-3 pick-up basketball games. If you go there to play, make sure to watch the managing partner, he swings his elbow high and inside when he pivots.

The leadership style we’ve seen that seems to promote the most loyalty and dedication is one that starts from the top and flows downward. We’ve studied this management style for years and witnessed that this concept also seems to have the lowest level of partner attrition, while maintaining a healthy work ethic, friendships and a team spirit throughout the firm.

If you would like to meet to learn more about how this program has helped our clients achieve positive results, please contact us at

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