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| 2 minutes read

Marketing Partners Forum 2022 - Strategic Planning Around Junior Partners

Suffice it to say, the past twenty-four months have proven especially challenging for many junior law firm partners. Thanks to a global pandemic, many individuals struggled to establish a core book of business or build upon personal brands within an ever-evolving remote work environment, this coupled with a generational shift among legal professionals toward greater work-life balance, alternative career pathways, and improved social awareness on the part of one’s employer, colleagues, or self has led to firms reconsidering the development pathways. 

This may seem a lot to consider, however at the recent Marketing Partners Forum, a fantastic panel including Amanda Bruno, Chief Business Development Officer, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Adam Bass, President & Chief Executive Officer, Buchalter, Peter McGlynn, Partner & Trial Department Chair, Bernkopf Goodman, Naim Surgeon, Partner, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan managed to cover off a vast array of invaluable insights, helped along by their brilliant moderator, Jonathan Fitzgarrald, Managing Partner, Equinox Strategy Partners.

How do you develop talent?

Here are my main take aways:

  • Diversity - whilst this is incredibly important, as Naim shared, "whether a candidate is diverse or not, investment into a lawyer should be the same for all, giving everyone an equal opportunity".

  • Programmes - each of the panelists had implemented programmes at their firms, whether small or large. Some examples included Buchalter (Adam Bass) working closely with Jonathans business and Amanda not only having a full time BD trainer at Morgan Lewis, but also programmes for lateral hires "where Partners take responsibility so that they have skin in the game around development" and also implementing a "High Potential Partner" programme. When making any of these successful the panelists agreed that:
    • Partners need to be bought into the process otherwise they just won't engage or get the most out of it. Accountability is key. 
    • Give and get feedback throughout, as anecdotal examples help as a measurement of success. 
    • Associating some form of competition to the programme works to drive engagement. 

  • Core Competencies - creating a core competencies for both 'homegrown' and new talent will allow people to flourish and mark where they are on their development curve. Within these, providing coaching for certain topics such as management  is key due to the lack of experience people may have previously had. As Peter shared, "this demonstrates a pathway through the firm" and similarly Amanda noted that "attorneys know exactly where they are in their development and promotion cycles". 

In the sessions wrap up, what really came through was that firms who are implementing development pathways are not only increasing their headcount but retaining the top talent, demonstrating the resounding success some of the initiatives above are having. 


e2e, marketing, professional services, business development, talent