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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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