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Are You Asking the Right Questions? 

John Remsen, Jr.


The many and varied challenges you face as a law firm leader might be best addressed and successfully resolved if you get in the habit of asking the right questions of the right people at the right time.

As some famous person once stated, “It is often more effective to know and ask the right questions than to know the answers to those questions. If you know the right questions to ask, you will invariably find many of the right answers.”

Assuming the above notion might hold some degree of truth, what are the questions you should be asking yourself, your firm leaders and your partners on a regular basis about your law firm’s current operation and its future?

Here are a few to consider:

  • What will our organization look like in five years? What must we be doing today to make sure we get where we want to go?
  • How relevant is our current business and/or service delivery model? What needs to change? Why?
  • How are we doing at creating a culture characterized by high expectations, high support, trust, sharing and teamwork?
  • How efficient and effective is our organizational culture at driving engagement and productivity?
  • Do all firm owners have a clear understanding of relevant company financial data? If not, why not?
  • How are we doing addressing the challenges and needs of four generations in the workplace?
  • What does our talent pipeline look like? Heck, do we even have a talent pipeline?
  • What are we doing (or not doing) to attract and retain desirable clients?
  • How are we dealing with chronic underperformance and bad behavior by lawyers? Support?
  • How effective am I, as a leader and role model, measured against the values and behaviors that we, as an organization, hold dear?
  • How can I do a better job of leading people and managing the firm’s processes and assets?
  • What one thing would we change about ourselves or our organization immediately if we had the power to do so? Why?

As another famous someone said, “Success is a journey, not a destination.” Perhaps asking the right questions adds clarity, purpose and direction to the journey….

About the Author

John is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on law firm leadership, management, marketing and business development. In 1997, he formed TheRemsenGroup, which has worked with more than 350 law firms. In 2002, he established The Managing Partner Forum, the nation’s richest resource for law firm leaders. He can be reached at 404.885.9100 or

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