We all know today’s legal market continues to evolve and it certainly presents unique challenges. With the uncertainly still looming over the financial markets, many law firms continue to streamline their ranks and trim compensation for partners whose business has fallen off. It is not uncommon to push partners into early retirement or into counsel positions for those who are no longer producing at an acceptable partner level.
So…in light of these not so attractive elements, how do you stay nimble and place yourself in a position to exact the most benefit from the current market situation? How do you maintain a vital position and keep your firm enamored with you?
Answer: Do some soul-searching and ask yourself these thought-provoking questions. If you answer them honestly, they will help you determine if you should stay the course with your current firm or start to look for new digs.
1. Are you satisfied with your firm’s reputation in the legal and business communities?
2. Is your firm well managed?
3. Are you optimistic when it comes to the financial health of your firm? Do you believe management is making the right decisions regarding the firm’s future?
4. Does your firm provide the platform you require for building your practice? Does your practice coincide with the strategic vision of the firm?
5. Is the firm committed to marketing? Does the firm provide you with the resources you need to successfully market your practice?
6. Are firm billing rates compatible with your specialty and your clients and has your firm adopted a flexible billing program?
7. Do you have the opportunity to participate in important departmental or practice decisions? If you desire a leadership role in the firm, is that a real possibility?
8. Do you feel you are compensated fairly when compared with your peers at your current firm and with those at similar firms?
9. Is your firm a good cultural fit? Do your peers share your views of work/life balance and superior client service and reputable character?
10. Does the firm’s physical surroundings provide an atmosphere where you can be productive?
11. Do you feel respected and valued by your peers? Do you respect and value your colleagues’ legal work? Are you comfortable referring your clients’ matters to them?
12. Do you receive adequate support from other partners, associates, paralegals and support staff in order to get work done in a timely fashion?
13. Is the firm committed to pro bono work and community service in a way that coincides with your values and beliefs?
14. Does the firm have a fair policy for recognizing cross-marketing and service to yours and others clients? Is there equality regarding how much work you receive from others as opposed to how much work to you throw off to others?