I’m not joking. Lawyers are not my favourite profession (apologies to the exception, Bob Latham). Too much conflict and not enough inspiration. Necessary defensively and best when they ideate around a problem.
Dallas TX lawyer and legal rainmaker Cordell Parvin seems to be an attorney you’d want on your side. He wrote a blog about the attributes of a “peak performing” law firm based on the book I wrote with colleagues in 2000 called Peak Performance: Business Lessons from the World’s Top Sports Organizations. Here’s what he said.
“When you think about the list that follows, imagine what it would be like being a partner or an associate in my dream law firm.”
1. They make magic - Making Magic is an inspirational aura that pervades an organization. It is a clear, unrelenting vision that this organisation is the best because extraordinary things happen here.
2. They have inspirational lawyers - Inspirational players provide leadership, coaching and depth. They are consistently inspirational – the very essence of grit, guts and repeated displays of genius. Inspirational lawyers are demanding, infectious, accessible and energetic.
3. They create future - They have a deep commitment to developing young lawyers. The senior lawyers act as coaches and mentors for the younger lawyers.
4. Community - There is a sense of firm before each lawyer’s self-interest. That means affirmation, selflessness and co-operation.
5. Exceeding Personal Best - This is a deep commitment to developing legal and personal skills. But, an equally important part of exceeding personal best is creativity, doing things differently, risk-taking, flair and intuition.
6. Game Breaking Ideas - Peak Performing Law Firms enable all their lawyers and staff to continually push for and contribute new ideas which will enable the firm to attract, retain and expand relationships with clients better than other law firms.
7. Focus on Goals - Lawyers focus on firm and individual goals. The goals are well understood by everyone. Goals are challenging but achievable. Smaller goals contribute to larger ones. Lawyers create new goals every 90 days.
8. Sharing The Dream - Peak Performing Law firms are all inspired by a dream of greatness, and they are extremely skilled at sharing that dream with their lawyers, their staff, their recruits, their clients, and their community.
9. The Last Detail - The commitment to getting every last detail right. Because, after all, that is how law firms will be judged. Lawyers pay attention to every detail no matter how large or how small the fee will be.