Does your law firm have a documented career management strategy for your associates?
Is it more than "each year, we pay them a little more."
The truthful answer for the vast majority of small and midsize law firms, everywhere in the world, is "no."
There are few issues in law firm management that have greater strategic importance for law firms today.
We believe that the ability of any small or midsize law firm to survive the increased competition and market distruption that lies ahead in the 2020s will be influenced in large part -- and for some firms, decided -- by whether that firm has invested in a well-informed, flexible career management plan that not only attracts associates but also provides ongoing motivation for them to remain. Not only does a strategically-focused career management plan help a law firm retain its best associates, but it also helps to assure that when an associate is ready for promotion to partner, he or she will have already demonstrated the skills and knowledge that the firm expects of its partners -- from the first day as a partner.
Walker Clark members have been advising law firms for more than twenty years about professional development and career management structures and programs for law firm associates. We don't try to sell off-the-shelf generic HR programs or so-called "best practices" in associate career management and development. Instead, we help our clients build structures that are right for the unique characteristics of their firms and for their associates, and that will be practical for them to administer going forward.