The New Firm
New firms are often exceptionally dangerous places to work, and they frequently experience massive turnover in their early years as their leaders grapple with how to run them. The high turnover rate can be attributed to a variety of factors, from financial issues regarding compensation levels and the ability of the firm to make payroll to business crises resulting from decisions made by naïve young partners with no business experience to interpersonal conflicts stemming from difficult partners who may have moved from other firms to assist with starting the new firm. Regardless of the reasons for the turnover, significant numbers of departures from new law firms must be closely examined.
One major problem at new law firms
, which has been mentioned above, is that partners who start and run new firms often have no business experience. In fact, these partners are often completely clueless about what it takes to run a business. Financial concerns such as making payroll or budgeting for office expenses are often secondary or ancillary concerns for busy partners who are focused on growing a young law firm. What's more, attorneys are generally not the best managers. Their approach to business frequently means farming out work and then micromanaging assignments to make sure they are completed to their expectations. Their approach does not necessarily involve nurturing you and making sure you are a happy attorney. Finally, a major problem with new law firms is that the partners building them may lack good judgment in dealing with finances or with the way they acquire and retain new clients. Lack of judgment can raise the most pernicious problems for new law firms.
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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.
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