One of the major trends in the last few years is that practice organizations in a variety of settings are coming to recognize that law practice increasingly requires competencies beyond traditional legal analysis. Since law schools can only do so much to help nurture these capabilities, there is emerging a substantial demand for education programs directed to lawyers that focus on subjects such as problem-solving, decision-making, communications, leadership, project management, team dynamics, strategic planning, emotional intelligence, self-coaching, organizational behavior, and financial analysis. The Center offers the programs reviewed in brief below and detailed on our executive education website to help develop these skills.
Georgetown Law's Partner Compensation Workshop goes beyond the basics of partner compensation to address the most pressing issues facing law firm compensation committees and decision makers, including: rewarding stars while also addressing the needs of non-rainmaking partners, handling unwelcome declines in profitability, addressing compensation for those with significant management responsibilities, ensuring that compensation supports the firm's strategy, culture, and talent-management philosophy, and managing the process of changing a firm's compensation structure. The two-day course features case studies on compensation issues faced by domestic and international firms, expert-facilitated discussion with peers on best practices, and tips for dealing with concerns such as underperformance and compensation for significant management responsibilities.
With a focus on lawyers who have recently entered leadership positions, Georgetown Law's Law Firm Leadership program is designed to educate the next generation of law firm leaders. The comprehensive approach deals with everything from understanding one's own leadership qualities, to managing teams, to strategic planning and navigating growth. Because leadership cannot be taught over the course of just a few days in the classroom, participants work on personal projects between two in-class sessions spaced 4-5 months apart, complemented by regular one-on-one sessions with professional coaches. This innovative program enables participants to learn by doing, supplemented with law firm specific coursework and practical advice.
The Partnering for Value program, Georgetown University Law Center's debut Executive Education offering, brings together both law firm attorneys and in-house counsel participants to build skills for effective partnering. In addition to developing an understanding of the fundamentals of collaboration and undergoing individual assessments, the hallmark of this program is a unique simulation where in-house and outside counsel work together on a legal matter, providing hands-on experience with real-time feedback in a safe learning environment. During this intensive two-day course, participants will focus on dealing with the needs of both internal and external clients by learning to manage expectations and handle difficult situations and conversations, understand the client's or stakeholder's preferences and empathize with their challenges and successes, address the underlying or not obvious needs of clients and other stakeholders, and to understand how to move from subject matter expert to a "trusted advisor" who provides counsel with a long-term perspective.
The Law Firm as a Business
The most successful businesses in the modern knowledge economy have people at all levels who are aware of market pressures, understand how the firm is responding to them, and recognize how their work contributes to the overall mission of the organization. Firms in which this occurs are able to elicit the kind of commitment that contributes to extraordinary performance, and to provide a work environment that affords opportunities for professional growth.
However, law firms traditionally have equipped their lawyers to adopt the perspective of the law firm as a business only when they are promoted to partner — which means that a substantial portion of a firm's workforce may have little idea of how what they do furthers the firm's business objectives. This course is designed to fill that gap.