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May 16, 2022 Leadership Publications and Writings

Leading Firms/Legal Departments

Listed items come from both within and outside the ABA.

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

June 2020

October 2019

September 2019

  • Back to Basics
    By Judith H. Katz & Frederick A. Miller
    Tips for leaders who want to create higher performing, more inclusive organizations

April 2019

March 2019

January 2019

October 2018

  • Five Success Strategies for the Modern Law Firm
    By Yuliya Laroe
    Take steps to attract, develop, and retain top talent.
  • Meet the General Counsel: James Rizzo
    By Stephen Embry
    An interview with the general counsel of the National Association of Home Builders.

July 2018

June 2018

January 2018

October 2017

July 2021

(No Date)

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. 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.

April 2014

  • The Failing Law Firm: Symptoms and Remedies
    By David Parnell
    More than just illuminating the symptoms of a struggling firm, this book shows that by the time most symptoms are revealed, it is often too late for firm leaders to do something about them. This book provides a tool focused toward predicting destabilization, rather than just defining it once it happens, and supplies a blueprint that attorneys, management, and leadership can use in analyzing and planning for the robustness, cohesiveness, and strength of a firm's infrastructure.

September 2013

  • Lawyers as Leaders 
    By Deborah L. Rhode
    No occupation in America supplies a greater proportion of leaders than the legal profession, yet it has done little to prepare them for this role. Lawyers sit at the helm of a vast array of powerful law firms, businesses, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. Two of the last three presidents have been lawyers. And yet almost no occupation rouses greater public distrust. This paradox raises two important questions: Why do we look to lawyers to lead, and why do so many of them prove to be so ill-prepared for that role? In Lawyers as Leaders, eminent law professor Deborah Rhode not only answers these questions but provides an invaluable overview for attorneys who occupy or aspire to leadership positions in public and private practice settings.

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.

June 2013

  • Lessons in Leadership: Essential Skills for Lawyers
    By Thomas C. Grella
    All too often, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful law firm is the quality of its leadership. Exemplary leaders have the power to motivate attorneys and staff to serve clients, collaborate, and innovate to the best of their ability. In times of trouble, ineffective leadership can drive a firm to ruin. Lessons in Leadership: Essential Skills for Lawyers will be required reading for any attorney--from newly hired associates to seasoned managing partners--seeking to develop their leadership skills. Through a series of practical lessons, veteran law firm leader Tom Grella draws from his own experiences and applies time-tested leadership principles to lawyers and law firms.

September 2012

  • Learning from Law Firm Leaders
    By Michelle C. Nash and Susan Manch
    This book aims to crystallize views on a number of relevant aspects of leadership that have not been discussed in great depth in the current literature on leadership. It's a necessary resource for all law firm business strategists, management committees, chief strategy officers, chief executive officers, chief advertising officers, and law firm leaders at any stage in their leadership journey.

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.

June 2011

  • Serving at the Pleasure of My Partners: Advice to the New Firm Leader
    By Patrick J. McKenna and Brian K. Burke
    This book is a compilation of the best questions and answers processed over the past three years by the Managing Partner's Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) a hand-selected group of distinguished current and former firm leaders, all with at least 10 years of experience, who address the distinctive challenges facing first-time law firm leaders. Eighteen chapters address some of the most common questions that new leaders have as they take office. Contents cover a wide range of issues, including how to better manage your time, how to deal with a chronic complainer, how to measure performance, and how to deal with complacency. This work focuses on helping leaders develop the skills to handle all of these issues and more.

October 2010

January 2008

  • Leadership for Lawyers (2nd. Ed.)
    By Herb Rubenstein
    Leadership is essential for anyone who wants to steer their firms and organizations to new heights. This book is first in its field to help those in the legal profession become more effective leaders. Readers will discover the various brands of leaders, and the strengths and weaknesses of each. Herb Rubinstein has taught leadership at five universities and is the founder and president of Growth Strategies, Inc., a strategy, management, leadership, and innovation consulting firm in Bethesda, Maryland.

November 2007

  • When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance
    By Thomas J. DeLong, John J. Gabarro, Robert J. Lees
    This book offers an integrated model of leadership that identifies four critical activities effective leaders must carry out:
    • set strategic direction
    • secure partner and associate commitment to this direction
    • three facilitate execution of strategy
    • set a personal example of behavior

November 2005

  • Leading Leaders: How to Manage Smart, Talented, Rich, and Powerful People
    By Jeswald Salacuse
    Whether you were born a leader or have had leadership thrust upon you, you’re in for a whole new set of challenges when managing other leaders. Think of the qualities that have brought you to a leadership role: your vision, confidence, and charisma, or perhaps your experience, unique skills, expertise, or network of powerful allies. Now remind yourself that other leaders share some or all these qualities with you. The leaders you are called upon to lead may be other executives, highly educated experts, investors, board members, government officials, doctors, lawyers, or other professionals. The potential contributions of these elites to any organization are vital, but the likelihood of friction is also high if you don’t manage relationships carefully. In any case, they are people with significant resources -- and strong opinions. How do you leverage the assets of the talented and powerful while making sure that egos remain unbruised?

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.

July 2003

  • 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.

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.”