An interesting discussion about leadership in law firms involving lawyers from around the world. One point upon which we all agreed was that law firms do not identify their future leaders early enough in their careers. The qualities that often make good leaders, including creativity, empathy, courage, personal insight and vision, are not those that are generally valued and measured positively during the career of a young lawyer. Indeed in many cases these are qualities that work against them, as many agreed that progressing in a legal career is about compliance and putting in the hours. But as retention becomes increasingly difficult for law firms, maybe they should be looking at their young lawyers in a new light.
I will be on a panel of international senior lawyers at the IBA in Rome on 12 October talking about the importance of leadership in attracting, inspiring and retaining talent in law firms. This is an area that is especially close to my heart. There is a lot of talk about the Millennials and the challenges they pose for the recruitment and retention of talent. They are the future, but do they want the future as defined by us and our experience, and are we prepared to accept and adapt to the future as defined by them? It should be an interesting session. More later.