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May 16, 2022 Leadership Publications and Writings

Leading Culture

Listed items come from both within and outside the ABA.

July 2023

  • Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture
    By David H. Maister
    Digging deeper by conducting in-depth interviews with managers and employees of the firms he surveyed, Maister has found that the key to success is not the systems of the firm, but the character and skills of the individual manager. He explores in detail the central role of the manager (what he or she must be, must do, and must require of others). The reader will find specific action recommendations from the managers and employees of these "superstar" businesses on how to build an energized workplace, enforce standards of excellence, develop people, and have fun -- all as powerful profit improvement tactics.

January 2023

  • Leading by Example: The Importance of Role Modeling for Lawyer Mental Health
    By Gavin Alexander
    Gavin Alexander, a mid-level corporate associate at a massive international law firm, shares his story about how he tried to end his life in 2016 and how he overcame his mental health challenges. He emphasizes the importance of role modeling for lawyer mental health and how leaders talking honestly and openly about their mental health challenges will save lives.

October 2022

  • LPD Women Rainmakers Making It Rain Column: Bryna Dahlin
    By Michele Powers
  • The Underrepresentation of Women at the Highest Levels of the Legal Profession
    By Sheryl L. Axelrod
    Article discusses the underrepresentation of women at the highest levels of the legal profession. It provides statistics on the lack of gender diversity in courts, law firms, and corporations.
  • Five Steps To Create A Growth Mindset Culture
    By Susan Letterman White
    Developing a culture of equity and inclusion depends on people telling their stories of facing and overcoming personal hardships with the support of sponsors, mentors, coaches, and affinity groups. Reward people who share these types of personal stories.
  • To Increase Well-Being and DEIB, Let’s Evolve Beyond Alcohol Culture
    By K. Brooke Welch
    Highlights the recent efforts by the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to address this issue and promote well-being in the legal profession. The article also provides evidence-based examples of why some people choose not to drink and how alcohol-driven events can exclude those traditionally under-represented in the legal profession.
  • The Amazing Power of Employee Resource Groups
    By Patricia Davison Lewis and Tracey Simmons fisher
    Discusses the growing popularity of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in the workforce and how they can support, engage and empower historically marginalized groups. The authors also provide insights on how to start an ERG and the benefits of having one in a company.
  • DEIB Separation Anxiety
    By Lori Hymowitz
    While law firms and other businesses emphasize recruitment and hiring, it is equally as important to focus and address DEIB issues and concerns regarding separation from employment.

June/July 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

  • DEI Benchmarks: What You Need to Know Now
    By Silvia Hodges Silverstein
    Diversity continues to be a hot topic in our industry. More and more, corporate legal departments regularly select firms that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

August 2021

March 2021

January 2021

  • The Power of Empathy
    By Kendra Brodin
    Putting yourself in another’s shoes can transform your outlook—and your firm.

June 2020

May 2020

February 2020

January 2020

October 2017

August 2017

  • Lawyers as Managers: How to Be a Champion for Your Firm and Employees
    By Andrew N. Elowitt and Marcia Watson Wasserman
    Today more than ever, all members of a law firm must work together as a team for the benefit of clients. Coordinating and getting the most out of everyone's contributions is the responsibility of a firm's managers, whether they are lawyers or administrators.. Helping you accelerate your growth as a manager of lawyers and legal professionals, this is a comprehensive and practical guide that includes the checklists, charts, and resources attorneys and managers need to lead thriving and resilient firms.

March 2017

October 2016

  • Women and Leadership
    By Deborah L. Rhode
    For most of recorded history, men have held nearly all the most powerful leadership positions. Today, although women occupy an increasing percentage of leadership positions, in America they hold less than a fifth of positions in both the public and private sectors. The United States ranks 78th in the world for women's representation in political office. In politics, although women constitute a majority of the electorate, they account for only 18 percent of Congress, 10 percent of governors, and 12 percent of mayors of the nation's 100 largest cities. In academia, women account for a majority of college graduates, but only about a quarter of full professors and university presidents. In law, women are almost half of law school graduates, but only 17 percent of the equity partners of major firms, and 22 percent of Fortune 500 general counsels. In business, women constitute a third of MBA graduates, but only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

September 2015

  • The Lawyer as Leader
    By Dr. Artika R. Tyner
    The Lawyer as Leader: How to Plant People and Grow Justice is an inspiring roadmap designed to help lawyers become effective agents for social change. Based on author Dr. Artika R. Tyner's leadership development and community engagement work, Planting People, Growing Justice™, the book shows how attorneys can use their legal skills to work for social change, contribute to communities that foster social justice, and empower and develop new leaders. The Lawyer as Leader is beacon call for lawyers who wish to harness their skills and training to become leaders in the struggle for social and economic justice.

July 2013

  • Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law
    By Gindi Eckel Vincent and Mary Bailey Cranston
    One of the Commission on Women's highest priorities throughout the years has been to provide women lawyers with the information and tools they need to advance into leadership positions in all areas within the law. Learning to Lead provides a concise road map of the latest collective wisdom on leadership and applies those principles to women lawyers. It also features interviews with 11 women legal leaders who share their lessons learned and tips for success.

August 2012

  • The Lawyers Guide to Professional Coaching
    By Andrew Elowitt
    Become more efficient and profitable in your law practice by employing a professional coach. The Lawyer's Guide to Professional Coaching will teach you to find, select, and work productively with the right coach for your needs--and transform your practice in the process. Learn how to get the most out of coaching, decide whether coaching is right for you and your firm, and use coaching skills when you collaborate with clients and colleagues

April 2005

  • First Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals
    By Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister
    In this strikingly unique "playbook," professional service experts Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister provide real-world examples, a wealth of self-evaluation materials, and concrete advice on stressful day-to-day management issues that every leader of professionals will welcome. The authors offer penetrating insights into the basics of coaching, dividing their attention equally between energizing and guiding the individual performer and the group.

June 1997

  • Managing the Professional Service Firm
    By David H. Maister
    Drawing on more than ten years of research and consulting to these unique and creative companies, David Maister explores issues ranging from marketing and business development to multinational strategies, human resources policies to profit improvement, strategic planning to effective leadership. While these issues can be complex, Maister simplifies them by recognizing that “every professional service firm in the world, regardless of size, specific profession, or country of operation, has the same mission statement: outstanding service to clients, satisfying careers for its people, and financial success for its owners.”