Monday, December 6, 2021

Managing Partners Should Micromanage Less - Above the Law

As discussed in a previous article, managing partners at law firms have a difficult job. Not only do many of these attorneys need to bill time to clients, but they also need to fulfill a number of administrative functions at a firm. Even though managing partners have so much to do, some of them can micromanage the smallest things about an office. This is usually very inefficient, and managing partners should avoid micromanaging and should delegate tasks to other people at a firm.

I worked at several law firms of all sizes before I started my own practice almost three years ago. The function of the managing partner at each of these firms was similar, although some of the firms at which I worked had numerous offices so the office managing partner had a similar role to the firm managing partners at smaller firms. I was always impressed with how many hours managing partners needed to dedicate to their jobs to ensure that things were running smoothly.

However, some of the managing partners I worked with micromanaged parts of the office in inefficient ways. For instance, I once worked at a law firm at which the managing partner needed to approve all of the retainer agreements that were sent to clients. On a certain level, this makes sense, since the managing partner needs to ensure that the terms offered to prospective clients are good for a firm and keep attorneys from binding the firm to unreasonable engagements even if the arrangement might benefit one lawyer.

One time, I...

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