Overview of The Consultant's Role
We assist law firms to help them plan, organize and conduct retreat meetings. We occasionally make formal presentations at retreats, either to present findings of studies conducted for the firm or to give brief seminars on topics of special interest. Our more usual roles are as a facilitator or to act as a "resource person" for the retreat. In these capacities, our consultants attend the entire retreat and are available for comments on the various subjects which are discussed.
The consultant's participation in the retreat can be substantially more meaningful if we have an opportunity to become acquainted with the firm prior to the retreat. This includes making a review of the firm's recent financial performance and talking with key members of the firm about the nature of the practice and any special problems or concerns which exist at the time.
The Planning Process
Our consultants may be asked to assist the firm to decide the nature and scope of the retreat and the topics which will be discussed. The planning process can encompass the following issues: retreat duration, location, and hours to be devoted to the retreat each day; topics to be discussed and preparation of the retreat agenda; development of the retreat program, and designation of chairperson and speakers; development of relevant statistical documents, reading materials, and preparation of retreat books.
If our consultants have conducted a management audit, reviewed or designed a new partner compensation plan and/or performed an analysis of the firm's economic performance, the reported findings and recommendations are presented for discussion and consensus building at the retreat. Development of priorities, an implementation plan and assignment of responsibilities can be developed through retreat discussions.
We may be asked to conduct programs that help address internal operations or internal communication problems. Similar programs can be presented on topics such as total quality management, improving client service, increasing marketing effectiveness, improving negotiating skills and the like. Marketing and business development plans including client surveys is often the focus of retreats in which we are involved.
Long range and/or strategic planning retreats are conducted to develop management, organization and marketing goals and strategies, to review or update plans or to educate and raise consciousness regarding the planning process. Our consultants can facilitate strategic planning meetings and serve as resources or presenters.
We also are called upon to provide speakers on specific retreat topics, such as trends in the legal profession, staff, associate and/or partner compensation arrangements, and law practice economics improvement opportunities, among many others. Each presentation is tailored to focus on the specific interests or needs of your firm.
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