Monday, August 23, 2010

Announcing The Managing Partner Forum for Northeastern Law Firms - Nov 4th in Boston

We're pleased to announce that we are partnering with Law Practice Consultants to present the inaugural Managing Partner Forum for Northeastern Law Firms on Thursday, November 4th at the Harvard Club of Boston.

This will be our 17th law firm leadership conference and our first in the northeastern part of the country. This particular full-day event is designed especially for law firm leaders in this region of the US.

Keynote presentations will be provided by Darryl Cross, VP of Client Profitability of LexisNexis; and Susan Hackett, Esq., SVP and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Click here to see the complete agenda.

Our first press release about the conference will be distributed later today. Click here for an advance copy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

MPF E-Newsletter - August 2010

We just published our August Newsletter. Click here for a copy.

Also, be sure to visit the MPF Website to see these and many other articles on timely leadership and management topics.

Monday, August 9, 2010

When Does the Role of Managing Partner Become Full-Time?

Of course, the answer is: "It depends."

Survey data we collected at the 2010 Managing Partner Forum - where firms ranged in size from 10-300 lawyers, with 62% in the 10-50 lawyer range - provides the following information:


What percentage of your time do you spend in your role as Managing Partner?


  • 17% said it was full-time role.
  • 21% said they spend more than 50% of their time in the role.
  • 19% said they spend 26-50% of their time in the role.
  • 38% said they spend 10-25% of their time in the role.
  • 6% said they spend less than 10% of their time in the role.
Of course, the larger the firm the more time required....generally speaking.

I was having this very conversation last night with my friend David Constantine, former President of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA). David's a sharp guy and thinks a lot about law firm management stuff.

I asked him at what firm size he believes the role of Managing Partner becomes full-time. He came up with 300 lawyers. A high number, I thought to myself. At that firm size, it's "almost impossible not to be a full-time CEO," said David. At 25 lawyers, David says the MP should spend no more than a few hours a week in the role. Of course, David assumes that a very competent and trusted COO is on the scene.

By contrast, the Managing Partner at one of my clients - a 45-lawyer firm with one office location - estimates that he invests about 90% of his time in the role.

So just how much time should a Managing Partner spend in the role?

As a general rule, I think that at 100 lawyers, a law firm should consider having a full-time Managing Partner. At 50-75 lawyers, about 50% of the MP's time should be dedicated to management. At 25-50 lawyers, 25% seems about right.

Clearly, there is no right or wrong answer to this important question. It's all over the map...and depends on a myriad of factors.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Moving is a Pain!

We apologize for the long delay between posts, but we were neck deep with two client projects last week and relocated our offices this past week. Still in Atlanta, but at a new location. I sit here surrounded by boxes, but wanted to come up for air!

Citing the same survey mentioned in our previous post, we also asked 70 managing partners where they spend most of their non-billable time in the role and here is what they said:
  • Managing day-to-day administrative affairs of the firm
  • Building and maintaining consensus among partners
  • Initating change to ensure long-term success of the firm
For most managing partners, dealing with the day-to-day stuff absorbs way too much of their time. All the more reason for law firms to employ competent, experienced firm administrators. As CEOs of their firms, managing partners should focus their time and attention toward more strategic issues.

Stay tuned!