Just about every day, I talk to law firm partners. They run the gamut – from senior partners who are running large law firms to more junior partners with growing practices. These conversations, combined with my legal market experience, have led me to two conclusions. The first is that many senior law firm leaders are from the Baby Boomer generation and they really like their roles. They have no immediate plans to pass the baton to the next generation. My second conclusion is that the up and coming partners are frustrated by these types of leaders. They feel that the senior leaders are not working particularly hard. Nor are they transitioning power, leadership, money, and client relations. This creates a dilemma. What are these up and coming law firm partners to do?
Well, the first thing I say is that the feelings of the next generation are often warranted. They are not looking for handouts. In fact, most have their own clients. They are in their prime growing and earning years and are already quite successful. Many feel that they are subsidizing the previous generation through their hard work. For these up and coming partners, there are three options:
- Wait it out at your current law firm. Perhaps, it will be your time one day.
- Hang a shingle. This has a whole bunch of other obstacles.
- Move to a new firm that gets it.
I vote for Option #3 and this is where I can help. There are plenty of law firms that have implemented succession plans. Those firms that have implemented plans tend to already have more junior partners in leadership roles. Therefore, the firm embraces and appreciates the next generation. The firm pays them appropriately and fairly. They do not expect them or need them to subsidize the compensation of senior partners. These firms also tend to be entrepreneurial which is also appealing to many up and coming law firm partners.
Progressive, entrepreneurial law firms know that conservative, stodgy firms are losing valuable talent. As such, there are many opportunities out there. So, if you are one of the frustrated, let’s have a call. I can learn what will make you happier and help find the right firm for you.