As featured on LinkedIn, December 6, 2022.
Congratulations. You’ve minted a new group of partners. Now what?
While law firms use the “now you’re a partner” step, as a way to grow their firm and retain talent, what happens when these newly elevated partners are expected to grow their own practices?
Those of us who have been CMOs have seen this often difficult transition take place time and time again.
Without a well-thought-out plan for each individual partner, a strong firm support network to help them, and enough marketing guidance to achieve their goals, many of these lawyers flounder during their first few partnership years, or even worse, make the decision to leave the firm.
After living in and studying law firms for decades, I’ve seen a number of steps work well to ensure success.
Partner with your CMO, or heads of business development and communications to ensure they have the proper resources to support their new “clients.”
In-house marketers should have the bandwidth to enable them to work closely with these new partners on a regular basis. They should be able to work with each one to create business plans and tactics that will help them grow their practice. As the nerve center of the firm’s marketing, these professionals can ensure that the plans fit with and support the practice and firm strategy.
Provide training for new partners in order to help them develop the skills necessary to manage people and projects and to develop business.
By having a multi-part program using different modalities of teaching, new partners can be brought up to speed by a mix of outside speakers and consultants as well as established partners, to give them the tools and confidence to grow their practices. In addition, creating a cohort of partners allows the group to work together and provides each of them with a support system upon which to turn.
Create mentoring relationships between successful rainmakers and new partners.
While each partner will have their own style and way of developing business, ensuring that there is at least one partner-level mentor who is assigned to take each new partner under their wing, in order to help them as a sponsor and advisor.
Each partner will approach business development with their own history and own abilities. But there are a million ways to build a practice, and each partner will need an individualized approach.
While many firms offer to pair each new partner with an outside coach, making one available to those who want it is a fantastic investment in their future.
I will continue to write about this topic on the insights portion of my own site (https://lnkd.in/eD2GYxR7) and I am always glad to find time to discuss this in greater detail.