There has been a recent flurry of articles regarding law firm “spin offs” some referencing actions such as the recent Ropes & Gray IP move which appears practice specific. Others target “spin offs” as a means of getting lean. Seth Godin (who you might consider following if you don’t already) had a great and short post that I found relevant to the topic.
The essence of the Godin post, translated to law firm business, is:
You must routinely and relentlessly monitor the quality of the individuals that comprise your law firm.
My thoughts on the subject are that just as old fish will eventually have a negative impact on business at a fish market, a few stale or stagnant individuals can drag a firm down. Anyone identified as not reflecting the attributes appropriate for building (strengthening) your firm and its brand — internally and externally — must be converted or removed.
This process should not be inhumane or reactionary. Successful law firms communicate who and what they are to all concerned, on a daily basis.
I’m not suggesting this is easy. It is not. It is critical that hiring mistakes be dealt with promptly. Personnel (lawyer or non-lawyer) who drift from firm standards deserve an opportunity for corrective change; in the absence of that change, they have to leave.
Any other approach threatens the future of all.
Does your firm let rotten fish spoil the lot?