The essence of any successful organization is whether it is going forward or backward. As in life, you are always better going forward than going backward.
There are some genuinely bad law firms out there. Notwithstanding, I have been studying law firms for years and can tell you that virtually every law firm goes through cycles. A rash of calls will come about departures from a law firm, and I will hear about how "morale" is low and how the law firm is crashing and burning. Sometime later, I will see the firm at the top of an associate survey and hear about its record profits. In most cases, the attorneys who report "low morale" and other problems at the firm are often (although not always) the ones bringing down morale in the first place.
After seeing this sort of thing happen so many times they are difficult to count, I will simply offer that law firms, like people, go through changes as part of their growth. Oftentimes, the worst thing you can do is bail out of a law firm going through positive changes. The best thing you can do for yourself is remain at a law firm with massive turnover if these changes are being driven by positive factors. Nonetheless, some changes are more significant than others.
Running a law firm is in many respects similar to raising a child; the leaders of the firm must decide what they want the law firm to be. Is your law firm seeking to be a world-class performer, or does it want to remain small? Does your law firm want to be known as the absolute best at something, or does it not care about prestige at all?
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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.