You know a good Managing Partner when you see one. They can either make your life much easier and more fulfilling, or instead have the potential to make your life a bit of a mess… It’s a tough job, as they must deal with the combined egos of the firm while overseeing administrative functions – but, what are some of the key qualities a good Managing Partner should possess?
(1) Legal Acumen
For a Managing Partner to be worth their salt, they should also be exceptional lawyers in their own right. It is important that they have a solid understanding of the legal issues involved in the matters that they are handling, so that they can divide tasks among the lawyers and meet the client’s objectives. It isn’t always the case that they get an opportunity to conduct many legal tasks, as they are often fully consumed by the administrative functions of the role, but it is certainly impressive when a good Managing Partner steps up and shows their skills.
(2) Organisational Skills
Good Managing Partners are usually extremely organised. As they need to oversee numerous matters and ensure the proper handling of cases, this is vital. It’s common for firms to work up to a thousand cases split between 30-50 lawyers, and the Managing Partner needs to be on top of it all. An unbelievable amount of correspondence is sent to firms and it all needs to be addressed. This requires extremely good organisational skills, as each item must be sent to the relevant people and followed up to ensure that nothing is missed, and work is done to the highest standard. It takes a very special type of person to be on top of this all, but a good Managing Partner will often sacrifice precious sleep to get the job done.
The personality of a Managing Partner is so essential to success or failure in the role. A good Managing Partner needs to be very personable and get along with people, since they need to work with such a diverse group of people who do not always agree on the best approach to a situation. They must also be very empathetic. This is important as they need to effectively deal with disciplining employees, letting go of workers, and assisting employees through tough times. If a Managing Partner can connect with their employees, they will be much more successful in their role. However, it is important that they are stern, as they need to be responsible for collections at firms, for making decisions about layoffs, finances, and other issues.
It’s important to remember that it’s a really tough job, so Managing Partner can’t be expected to be perfect all the time. But if your Managing Partner possesses these three skills consistently, you’re in a good place. If they don’t, it might be time for a change! Get in touch with our Engagement team to see where Route1 could take you.