Within any law firm, managers or supervisors within a law firm are needed. Depending on the size and scope of the law firm, managers or supervisors could be needed for attorneys, paralegals/legal assistants and various administrative staff.
The overall mentality of these managers or supervisors is really critical to the success of the law firm. On a fundamental level, any law firm manager or supervisor needs to ensure that the policies and procedures of the law firm are implemented. Law firm managers and supervisors also need to help ensure that the vision of the law firm is being furthered.
For any law firm to be successful, employees need to be generally moving in the same direction. Employees of the law firm for example need to understand the policies and procedures are put in place for the betterment of the law firm’s clients. They are also put in place to ensure that their life can be better as law firm employees.
For example, when great legal work is being performed, more clients will invariably come through referrals and word-of-mouth business. The lives of the firms’ clients will also be made better. When employees are doing things like obtaining excellent surveys, billing their hour requirements and following other policies and procedures, law firm life ultimately ends up better for them because the law firm will be more sound from a business and financial standpoint.
The successful law firm managers and supervisors who succeed largely understand how this works. They understand that what they say and do reflects on the law firm. They understand the big picture. They assume the role of a White House Press Secretary. And they understand that it is their job to make the law firm owners’ lives easier.
In some situations, however, certain law firm managers or supervisors can end up moving sideways. This can culminate in them adopting the role of a figurative union boss. Yes, unions were/are necessary and serve a place in many work environments in helping ensure the rights of workers are protected.
But in the realm of law firm management or supervisions, when one assumes the role of a union boss, they are missing the mark. Instead of ensuring that the policies and procedures and vision of the law firm are enforced, a figurative law firm union boss can begin trying to water all of this down.
This can happen quickly with some law firm managers or supervisors who just do not understand their role. In other circumstances, this can happen slowly over time as the employees being trying to persuade the law firm manager or supervisor that the policies and procedures, and the law firm vision, should not be carried out for one reason or another.
Certainly, it is important for a law firm to try to maintain a high morale amongst those they supervise. It is also important for a law firm to try to have a pulse on how law firm employees are feeling about their work environment by listening to their questions and concerns.
At the same, law firm managers and supervisors need to understand that, first and foremost, they are there to make sure the policies and procedures and vision of the law firm owners are met. That’s who hired them. That’s who pays them. That’s why they were put in the position of being a law firm manager or supervisor in the first place. So, it’s not their job to begin chipping away at the vision of the law firm or the policies and procedures put in place.
Instead of trying to appease the people they supervise by assuming the role of a figurative union boss, those managers and supervisors who succeed understand that it is their job to be an extension of the law firm owners. They understand that just like in any other fiduciary relationship, their duty is to the law firm itself.
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