Lawyer Leadership Masterminds Series

ABA Lawyer Leadership Mastermind Series

Join your fellow managing partners, practice group leaders and other law firm leaders for mastermind style discussions of some of the most pressing issues facing law firms today.  Masterminds are peer-to-peer discussion groups used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other participants. Each of the ABA Lawyer Leadership Mastermind sessions will start with a short talk by an expert who will offer some “food for thought” to stimulate discussion.  This will be followed by a facilitated conversation where participants will be invited to share their own experiences, insights, questions and lessons learned. The goal is for participants to leave with new ideas, inspiration and community.

This is a six-session series.  Sessions will be held once per month from September 2020 through March 2021, omitting December.  The sessions are on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm Eastern and will be held via Zoom Meeting.

There is no cost for this program. It is a member benefit for ABA members.

Best Practices for Planning a Safe and Effective Return to the Office           
September 15, 2020

Herding Lions: Getting Partners On Board with Necessary Changes            
October 20, 2020

What Now? What Next? Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World     
November 17, 2020

Lawyer Well-Being: The Best Law Firm You Can Be                                             
January 19, 2021        

Does the Compensation System Thwart Your Law Firm’s Goals?                   
February 16, 2021

Succession Planning: What’s Your Next Step?                                                           
March 16, 2021

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Session #1 - Best Practices for Planning a Safe and Effective Return to the Office

This mastermind session will discuss best practices for returning to the office and re-onboarding employees. Topics may include COVID-19 employment issues, planning for a return to the office, realities of returning to the office, how to balances business economics with workforce safety and health, among other topics.

Daniel A. Schwartz

Daniel A. Schwartz is a partner at Shipman & Goodwin, LLP. He represents employers in a broad spectrum of employment law matters such as employment discrimination, restrictive covenants, human resources, retaliation and whistle blowing, data privacy and wage and hour issues.  Dan is the author of the independent Connecticut Employment Law Blog, one of the most widely read blogs of its kind in the nation. 

Andrew Schpak 

Andrew Schpak is the Co-Managing Partner at Barran Liebman LLP and has been exclusively representing management in employment litigation and providing advice in employment matters. He is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington state and federal courts and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) by the Society for Human Resources Management.

Session #2 - Herding Lions: Getting Partners On Board with Necessary Changes

Extraordinary times require well-thought-out strategic action. Yet, even the best plans are meaningless when the partnership can’t reach consensus or when individual rebels undermine implementation. This mastermind session will discuss effective approaches for creating buy-in and getting partners on board with structural or organizational changes to the firm.  

Anna Rappaport

Anna Rappaport, J.D., PCC, is the principal of Excelleration Coaching and has 20 years’ experience helping individual lawyers, teams and law firms enhance communication to support their strategic goals. Anna has particular expertise in cross-cultural communication. She has lived in Japan, Thailand and, most recently Turkey, where she coached Turkish lawyers and taught corporate law at Yeditepe University. Anna holds various leadership roles in the ABA and is on the faculty of the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity. 

Session #3 - What Now? What Next? Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World

2020 has had more than its share of unexpected and dramatic events that have tested the strength and resilience of law firms and attorneys. Firm leaders have wondered whether there are good ways to plan for these often unanticipated events and risks. In this hour we’ll explore and discuss some of the most useful strategies, practices and tools that lawyers can use to prepare, respond and adapt to ever-increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the practice of law.

Andrew Elowitt, JD MBA PCC

Before becoming a practice management consultant and executive coach, Andrew Elowitt practiced law in firms and as a General Counsel for over twenty years. He now specializes in talent, strategy, and leadership development for firms and corporate legal departments. He is a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management, an ICF Professional Certified Coach, and coauthor of the ABA’s “Lawyers as Managers: How to be a Champion for Your Firm and Employees.”

Session #4 - Lawyer Well-Being: The Best Lawyer You Can Be

This program is designed to explore some of the factors and personal qualities essential for self-managing in the complex world of practicing law in 2020. It will examine such things as self-awareness, resilience, emotional intelligence and collaboration. Most important it will share the two most critical attributes that make for happy lawyers and happy lawyering based on extensive empirical evidence.    

Stewart Levine

Stewart Levine is the founder of ResolutionWorks, a consulting and training organization dedicated to providing skills and ways of thinking needed to build strong organizational cultures. He spent ten years practicing law before becoming an award-winning marketing executive serving the legal profession at AT&T. Stewart curated and edited THE BEST LAWYER YOU CAN BE: A Lawyers Guide to Wellness - Staying Physically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually Healthy.   

Session #5 - Does the Compensation System Thwart Your Law Firm’s Goals?

Many law firm compensation systems have the double-barreled impact of triggering internal disharmony and disincentivizing activities crucial to the success and sustainability of the firm. This session will discuss ways that some firms have designed or modified their compensation systems to support a culture in which their lawyers thrive and enjoy their practice.

Debra Bruce

Capitalizing on 18 years in law practice and 20 years as a professional coach, Debra L. Bruce helps lawyers develop their skills in leadership, management and productivity. She is the Co-Chair of the ABA’s Productivity & Knowledge Strategy Committee and has held leadership roles in law practice management committees of the Houston and Texas bar associations.

Session #6 - Succession Planning: What’s Your Next Step?

This mastermind session will explore the motivation and obstacles of succession planning and focus on how to make it a reality.

Susan Letterman White

Susan Letterman White, JD, MS, is the Senior Practice Advisor at Mass LOMAP/Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers in Boston, MA.  She is a former law firm managing partner and practicing attorney and presently an expert in individual career and organizational strategy and performance. She chairs the Massachusetts Bar Association Solo/Small Firm Law Practice Management Section Council, is a member of the MBA’s COVID-19 Response Task Force, and chapter author of Hanging Your Shingle: Starting and Operating a Solo or Small Firm Practice.

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Facilitators:

Cynthia Thomas is the founder and president of PLMC & Associates, a management consulting firm for small and midsize law firms.  She advises law firms on HR, marketing and operations management.

Andrew Elowitt, JD, MBA, PCC, practiced law in firms and as a General Counsel for over twenty years. He is a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management, an ICF Professional Certified Coach, and coauthor of the ABA’s “Lawyers as Managers: How to be a Champion for Your Firm and Employees.”

Anna Rappaport, J.D., PCC, is the principal of Excelleration Coaching and has 20 years’ experience helping individual lawyers, teams and law firms enhance communication to support their strategic goals. Anna holds various leadership roles in the ABA and is on the faculty of the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity.