Lawyers should be compensated for management

The vast majority of lawyers who manage their law firm, whether it be only a few lawyers or the gigantic many hundreds of lawyers firm ("BigLaw"), still bill many hours and don’t get paid for also taking on the role of "managing partner."

How to compensate lawyers for their management role when the primary focus of the firm is on the "produce" element is a major issue … As noted in this blog before, people will excel in that for which they’re rewarded. If a firm doesn’t pay the managing partner for his/her efforts in this endeavor, the performance of that function, management, will get short shrift and be delegated to others (such as non-lawyer administrative staff).

It’s difficult to do both (produce and manage) well … as Lee Iacocca and others will tell you. He was an engineer; others are members of the sales force; some come from the legal department. But, all executives in corporate America will agree that once you become the leader of the company, your old job has to be given to someone else.

Lawyers don’t follow this pattern. Perhaps that’s why it’s taken so long for law firms to act in a business-like way and focus on their primary challenge, client/customer service.


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