Managing Partners Forum

A very informative conference with lots of fresh ideas and perspectives.

Frank X. Neuner, Jr., Esq.
NeunerPate - Lafayette, LA

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The Law Firm of the Future

Our popular MPF Webinar Series - “The Law Firm of the Future” - is presented on the first Wednesday of the month to help firm leaders look beyond COVID-19 toward a long-term, proactive, forward-thinking, and strategic approach to the firm and the practice of law. These 60-minute Webinars are complimentary for our readers. The on-demand recordings and handout mateirals are listed below.

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What Every MP Needs to Know about Information Governance  ** NEW **
by MPF with Ella Gower, Esq., Andy Hoedt, Rob Mattern and Nathan Curtis

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on December 1, 2021

During the Webinar, we gathered and presented lots of data on our topic, and we learned the following:

  • Thirty-two percent (32%) of participating firms have formal Information Governance policies in place. Compliance is frequently a challenge.
  • Forty-four percent (44%) of firms have record retention schedules in place for both paper and electronic records. Thirty percent (30%) have schedules for paper records only. Twenty five percent (25%) do not have retention schedules in place.
  • Eighty-three percent (83%) say Information Governance is an important strategic priority for 2022.
  • COVID has accelerated the integration of better technology practices into most mid-sized law firms.
  • Recent studies by Deloitte and McKinsey report that organizations embracing "digital transformation" significantly outperform competitors.

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.

 

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An Introduction to Law Firm Succession Planning
by Managing Partner Forum with Donald L. Mrozek, Esq.
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on October 13, 2021

Our guest speaker was Donald L. Mrozek, Esq., Chair Emeritus and Chair of the Professional Services Practice Group at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. One-hundred fifteen (115) managing partners and firm leaders participated in the live session, and here a few interesting data points we gathered:

  • Twelve percent (12%) of firm leaders report to have a "clearly articulated" succession plan in place at their firms
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) say their firms are doing a "fair" or "poor" job identifying and grooming future firm leaders
  • Twenty-one percent (21%) have mandatory de-equitization provisions in their firm's partnership agreements

In recent years, we have observed that "succession planning" is emerging as a top priority for many smaller and midsize law firms. Clearly, there are opportunities for most firms to improve as they look to the future and seek to implement strategies and initiatives to assure smooth and successful transition. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.

 

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Trends in Law Firm Compensation Systems
by Managing Partner Forum with Uri Gutfreund and John Remsen, Jr.

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on September 1, 2021

Law firm leaders crave timely, relevant data about industry trends and how other firms do things,  so on this edition we presented a change of pace from our usual program format with two or three guest speakers. Rather, we asked 20 rapid-fire live audience polling questions. Here is a sampling of what we learned:  

  • Thirty-two percent (32%) of firm leaders report that their firms have made significant changes to their compensation systems in the past five years.
  • Sixty-two percent (62%) of firm leaders describe their firms’ compensation systems as “mostly objective,” with thirty-eight percent (38%) heavy on “collections” and twenty-four percent (24%) heavy on “origination credit.”
  • Forty-five percent (45%) report a trend toward “more objectivity” in their systems in recent years.
  • Forty-one percent (41%) say their compensation process are trending toward "more transparency” in recent years.
  • Firms are trending away from “seniority” as factor and assigning more weight for “firm-building” contributions.
  • Most firm leaders (53%) report a multiple of three-four between the lowest and highest compensated equity partner.
  • Thirty percent (30%) say that top performers are undercompensated.
  • Seventy-two percent (72%) say that chronic underperformers are overcompensated

If compensation is on the agenda at your firm’s leadership meetings, this is good stuff to share. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.

 

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Building a Truly Exceptional Law Firm Culture
by Managing Partner Forum with John Harrity and Charles Jimerson

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on August 4, 2021

This month, we invited John Harrity, Managing Partner of Harrity & Harrity in Fairfax, Virgina; and Charlie Jimerson, Managing Partner of Jimerson Birr in Jacksonville, Florida to discuss how they have built and maintained highly successful cultures at their law firms. We discussed the importance of hiring the right people to begin with, then investing in their career development. We also discussed dealing with "problematic personalities."

We had an exceptionally candid conversation about this important aspect of law firm leadership.

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.


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Mitigating the Psychological Impacts of COVID at Your Law Firm
by Managing Partner Forum with Dr. Larry Richard

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on June 2, 2021

Larry is a long-time member of the MPF Faculty and expert on the lawyer personality. As always, we collect and share current data through survey questions and audience polling. Here is some of what we learned:

  • Eighty percent (80%) of firm leaders think some of their firms' lawyers are struggling with impacts of COVID. Ninety-two percent (92%) say they have support staff who are struggling.
  • Ninety-three percent (93%) report increased "distractibility" or "anxiety" among their people. 
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of firm leaders say they are proactively reaching out to their people to make sure they are doing OK. People living alone and those with young kids are especially vulnerable.
  • Providing "social support" is the most beneficial thing law firm leaders can do to mitigate the impacts.

Larry provides excellent guidance for law firm leaders and, already, the session has been featured in Law360 in an article by Aebra Coe entitled "How Firm Leaders Can Ease COVID's Psychological Impacts." Click here for the article. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.
 

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Your Firm’s Post-Pandemic Workplace Model:
How to Find the Right Balance for Your Organization

by Managing Partner Forum with Rob Mattern
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on April 6, 2021

On this edition of The MPF Webinar Series called “Your Firm’s Post-Pandemic Workplace Model: How to Find the Right Balance for Your Organization” with Rob Mattern, president and founder of Mattern & Associates, a national leader in law firm operations consulting. In assessing the best workplace model for your firm, we discussed the importance of talking with your people (both lawyers and support staff), your clients and your vendors as you work through these issues. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.
 

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Point/Counterpoint: Should We Bring
Everybody Back to the Office or Rethink our Workplace Model?

by Managing Partner Forum with Michael Hurley, Jr. and Jon Pinney

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on March 3, 2021

Our topic is “Point/CounterPoint: Should We Bring Everybody Back to the Office or Rethink Our Workplace Model?” and 195 firm leaders participated in the live session. Here are a few things we learned:

  • Since COVID hit, managing partners at midsize law firms report that overall productivity is slightly up for partners, slightly down for associates and considerably down for support staff.
  • Forty-three percent (43%) of firm leaders "strongly favor" the concept of a hybrid workplace model
  • Eleven percent (11%) "strongly favor" a full return to the office 

We thank Michael J. Hurley, Jr., Managing Partner of New York’s Cassin & Cassin LLP, and Jon J. Pinney, Esq., Managing Partner of Cleveland’s Kohrman Jackson Krantz, for their participation and candid insights on this timely topic. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.


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Women in Leadership: Tips from the Trenches
by Managing Partner Forum with Lisa Ramsey Cole and Leslie Packer

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on February 3, 2021

On this edition of our series "The Law Firm of the Future," our guest panelists were Lisa Ramsay Cole, President and Managing Shareholder of Tennessee’s Lewis Thomason, and Leslie Packer, Managing Partner of North Carolina’s Ellis & Winters. One hundred-forty (140) firm leaders participated. Dr. Sharon Meit Abrahams was our guest co-host. As always, we collect and present relevant bench-marking data on our topic, including:

  • Sixty-four percent (64%) of participating firms report challenges retaining women lawyers,
  • Forty-nine percent (49%) have a formal diversity and inclusion initiative in place, and
  • Fifty-six percent (56%) allow for part-time equity partners.

This was our first Webinar dedicated to women in leadership and we will be presenting more such programming in the future. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.
 

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Disruption Alert! The Movement toward Law Firm Ownership Reform
by Managing Partner Forum with Whitney Cunningham and Carson Pearson 
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on January 6, 2021

One of our most important and thought-provoking Webinars to date, which covered recent developments in Arizona and Utah that are predicted to have profound and fundamental impacts on the legal profession throughout the country. Both states formally allow nonlawyers to co-own law firms and give companies (mostly technology firms) the ability to provide legal services. Bigger states like California, New York, Florida and many others are watching closely and are not far behind in enacting similar reforms. During the session, managing partners Whitney Cunningham of Arizona and Carson Pearson of Utah discussed these changes in their states, how local legal communities are responding and some of the initiatives underway at their law firms. As always, we collect and present current survey data on our topic and incorporate it into the handout materials, which also include a nice article from Bloomberg Law that provides a good national overview of the situation.

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.
 

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Lessons Learned in 2020 and Big Bold Predictions for 2021
by Managing Partner Forum with Uri Gutfeund and John Remsen, Jr.
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on December 31, 2020

We are pleased to present the on-demand recording and handout material for this week’s MPF Webinar called ”Lessons Learned in 2020 and Big Bold Predictions for 2021." Since April, more 2,300 managing partners and law firm leaders have participated in The MPF Webinar Series. The feedback we have been receiving has been gratifying and nothing short of fantastic. It was a fun, fast-paced session during which Uri Gutfreund and I shared our thoughts and perspectives about the impact of COVID-19 on the legal profession. We think you will enjoy it. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.
 

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Update on PPP Loan Forgiveness
by Managing Partner Forum with Scott Burke, Dan Mayo and Lisa Murray 
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on December 9, 2020

We thank Scott Burke, Managing Partner of Morrison Mahoney LLP; Dan Mayo, National Lead-Federal Tax Policy of Withum; and Lisa Murray, Head of Professionals Banking of Citizens Bank, for their insights and perspectives on this timely and important year-end topic for many, many law firms.
 
As always, we collect and present survey data on our topic (183 law firm leaders participating) and learned the following:

  • Ten percent (10%) of firm leaders report that their law firms have applied for PPP Loan Forgiveness, and have been approved by both their bank and the SBA
  • On the other hand, fifty-one percent (51%) had not yet applied for Loan Forgiveness
  • Eighty-three percent (83%) expect to receive 100% forgiveness

As to the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the legal industry, thirty-three percent (33%) of firm leaders say it will “fundamentally change the practice of law as we know it,” a whopping, five-fold increase from when we asked the same question in May. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.


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Budgeting Considerations for 2021
by Managing Partner Forum with Fred Esposito and Tom Obermaier

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on November 18, 2020

Our MPF Webinar entitled "Budgeting Considerations for 2021" with Frederick J. Esposito, Jr., Chief Operating Officer of Rivkin Radler, LLP and Tom Obermaier, Chief Executive Officer of SurePoint Technologies.119 firm leaders participated during the live session, and here are a few of the things we learned:

  • Twenty-six percent (26%) of firm leaders project in an increase in Revenue per Lawyer (RPL) for their firms in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • Sixty percent (60%) of firm leaders report a substantial increase (10% or more) in their firms’ investments in technology in 2021.
  • Thirty-seven percent (37%) report an increase in their firms’ marketing and business development budgets in 2021.
  • Seventy-four percent (74%) are planning associate raises in 2021, with forty-three percent (43%) looking at increases of five percent or more. Raises are not as generous for non-lawyer support staff.  

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.

 

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Which KPIs Are Best for Your Law Firm?
by Managing Partner Forum with Roger Hayse and Steve Mabey

An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on November 4, 2020

On the latest installment of The MPF Webinar Series we call "The Law Firm of the Future." we discussed the importance of measuring both financial and firm-building contributions. In addition to plenty of timely benchmarking data on the topic, the handouts include biographical profiles, PowerPoint deck, and the raw data from The MPF 2019 Law Firm Leadership survey

Here are a few highlights:

  • Eighty-five percent (85%) of firm leaders say they use KPIs to monitor firm and individual performance. "Productivity" was by far the #1 metric they monitor. 
  • Twenty-six percent (26%) of firms have modified their KPIs since the COVID outbreak. Another twenty-four percent (24%) are considering it.
  • Looking beyond financial KPIs, just twenty-four percent (24%) of firms measure client satisfaction and thirty-five percent (35%) measure employee satisfaction. 

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.

 

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Building the Virtual Law Firm
by Managing Partner Forum with Michael Moradzadeh and Chris Wilson
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on October 21, 2020

We had a very interesting and thought-provoking conversation about the growing trend for law firms to move toward virtual business models as we work through the immediacy of the pandemic and look toward a post-COVID environment. Here are a few program highlights:

  • In the remote working environment, partner productivity has slightly increased, while associate and staff productivity have significantly decreased.
  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of smaller and midsize law firms have decided to move to a more virtual business model. Fifty-one percent (51%) are considering it. 
  • The biggest concerns are the impacts on associate development and training, and maintaining a collaborative firm culture.

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.
 

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Finding the Leader in You
by Managing Partner Forum with John Fanburg, Mickey Maher and Leah Nelson
An MPF Webinar Originally Broadcast on September 16, 2020

The session was an open conversation about how law firm leaders find resolve and resilience in times of change and uncertainty. Thank you to our guest speakers: John Fanburg, Managing Member of Brach Eichler, LLC; Mickey Maher, Managing Partner of Hecht Solberg; and Leah Nelson, Founder of Nelson Leadership.

Click here for On-Demand Webinar.
Click here for Handout Materials.