Survey says: 40 percent of law firms don’t have succession plans

June 7, 2012
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A recent survey shows that four in 10 law firms lack succession plans and nearly half of those asked who don’t have plans in place don’t plan on creating one.

Robert Half Legal’s survey includes responses from 175 lawyers at large law firms in the United States and Canada. Attorneys were asked if their law firms currently have a succession plan in place for key leadership roles and if their firms intended to create a plan.

Nearly 40 percent said their firm lacked a plan; 56 percent of firms had a plan and five percent didn’t know if their firms had a plan or did not answer the question.

Almost 50 percent said their firms don’t intend to create a succession plan; 14 percent will create one within the next two years, with 34 percent saying they’ll develop one in the next three to five years.

Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal, says leadership transition planning is often put on the back burner until a managing partner or practice group leader retires or resigns. Firms should be proactive in succession planning and not wait until they have to create a plan, he said, because it can take years to identify and train new leaders for key roles.

Is your firm ready for when the managing partner or key leadership people step down?
 

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