Law Firms

Law Firm Develops Intensive Leadership Training

An East Coast law firm with more than 160 lawyers has concluded that its future leaders need more training than the kind offered in management seminars or sink-or-swim opportunities.

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young has developed a two-year leadership program with the help of legal consulting firm Altman Weil, the Legal Intelligencer reports. Four partners and one partner candidate are participating.

The five lawyers handle client development projects with the help of Altman Weil coaches. As part or their initiatives, the lawyers are developing a client relations management software program and creating an alumni network. They also meet with managing partner Jeffrey Lutsky once a month to discuss management topics and the firm’s emphasis on consensus-driven decisions.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has a similar program, while Reed Smith has tried a different approach by sending select lawyers to business school for executive training. (The ABA Journal reported on Reed Smith’s program in May 2005.)

Lutsky told the Intelligencer that Stradley Ronon has rejected the notion that leaders are born and not made. “The historical model for law firms is to put somebody in a leadership position without any training … whatsoever,” he said, “often not because of leadership skill but because of a big client, and they hope for the best and hope they don’t drive into a ditch.”

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