Eric Fletcher

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The Managing Partner spoke with measured emotion. And conviction. The topic was the desire he and his senior partners shared to continue the legacy they were beneficiaries of by passing on a thriving firm to the generation of lawyers, now laboring as associates and young partners. I was taken by the forward thinking…the commitment to something more long term than the monthly hour-watch or annual budgets backed by little more than what it will take…
The fact that a lot of people are talking doesn’t mean there are a lot of real conversations going on. More to the point, the fact that there is measurable attention being paid to any particular topic does not guarantee progress. In the mid 1940’s, the Congress of the United States introduced legislation to make it illegal for women to be paid less than men for comparable work. Decades of talk have failed to realize…
Years ago I worked with a Managing Partner who regularly referred to the Marketing Department of his law firm as the PR Department. I’m certain it was a habit rooted in the days when law firm marketing efforts centered on work that was public relations in nature. Though I believe he knew the marketing group’s responsibilities covered a broader terrain, the habitual use of the wrong label both perpetuated and was emblematic of a narrow…
You’ve seen the articles. Many knowledgeable observers believe a recession is inevitable; some are predicting a severe slow-down as early as spring 2020, based on certain indicators. I do my best to avoid trafficking in fear and doom, but it is difficult to find a serious economic observer that doesn’t believe a downturn is coming. If it occurs, law firms (and other professional service providers) that are not doing the strategic planning today to…
(This is an update to a March 2018 article originally published on Forbes.com.) The role of leadership in any enterprise is fraught with a number of legitimately urgent distractions — especially in a volatile marketplace. A single projection missed, one team assignment blown, a silver bullet misfired can wind up costing precious resources. In short order, leadership can find itself caught up in the management of commotion. The challenge is that commotion is a constant. Responding…
When things don’t change, there is typically one reason. Change is simply not a priority. Wherever there is a lot of talk, but very little action…when progress is painfully slow (without regard to how essential we say it is) it is almost always due to one thing. The prescribed movement isn’t important enough to command the necessary attention and resources. And the venue doesn’t matter. From inside your firm, to global seats of power…from personal…
If your firm is puzzling over conversations like inclusion, mental health in the work place, succession, stability or any aspect of how to grow, take it as a warning sign: critical areas of your organization may not be aligned. Not that these topics can’t be plenty challenging. Indeed, any one calls for the best a leader or leadership team can bring to the table. But if you’re having trouble finding a framework for addressing your…
For every firm wrestling with direction, under performance, growth, market position, diversity and inclusion, compensation systems, how to address succession planning…and the list goes on…there is good news The shortest distance between today’s challenges and meaningful progress could be as close as organizational alignment. The downside is that institutional alignment is often the last thing anyone focuses on. When the day-in-day-out realities of running a firm already demand more time than is available, “soft” discussions…
Does your firm regularly wrestle with measuring return when it comes to business development efforts? If so, you’re far from alone. At least one reason is that for many firms, the pursuit of new business is not aligned with any overall, longer-than-this-year strategic plan — one that is guided by a set of core principles, and establishes the basis for strategic growth. There are exceptions, of course; but for the most part, law firms grow…
If your firm is like most, the pursuit of lateral partners is a critical piece of your growth plan, and you invest in it disproportionately. But unless yours is an exception, the effort under-delivers. Consider data highlighted in a January article from ALM, authored by Nicholas Bruch, Michael A. Ellenhorn and Howard Rosenberg. In the past 5 years (2014-2018) there were almost 9,000 lateral moves made within Am Law 200 firms. (This doesn’t count firms…