“One third of our practice groups work well, a third are hit or miss and a third are dysfunctional.” This was one of the responses I got when taking an informal poll of managing partners of firms of 150 to 450 lawyers with regard to practice group effectiveness. The overwhelming majority of responses reflected the same general conditions. By any assessment, that is a poor report card.
All large law firms place an emphasis on practice group effectiveness — as they should. In fact, I suggest that this is the single most important strategy for law firms today because being highly effective is at the heart of being highly competitive. Highly effective business units equate to client service excellence, improved profitability, high morale and high competitiveness. While most firms have invested time, managerial effort and money in developing a practice group structure, effective group operations often remain an unmet challenge.