Organizational And Leadership Issues At The San Francisco Law Firm
Maria Elena Jaime
Golden Gate University
The San Francisco Law Firm has been operating since 2008 independently as a result of a splitting off from a larger firm. When half of the firm was acquired by a major firm, there was a lot of frustration and uncertainty about what would happen since there were signs of an inevitable recession. The lawyers that stayed started to feel the pressure of lower caseloads and billing requirements. They essentially had to create more work out of less cases. The main partner and owner of the firm decided that in order to keep the firm afloat, he could not be the only person handling the marketing and business development. He gave his associates a new task: to start bringing business in so they could have enough work to keep their jobs.
This new responsibility was not presented as a team project, but more of a threat of the action they needed to take in order to be employed. This did not sit well with associates who were accustomed to come into the office and work on cases that were assigned to them. The new responsibility of having to market the firm was intimidating because they did not have the skill set to go out and find new clients. Additionally, marketing is something that typically managing partners do after many years of practicing law and building close relationships with clients.
The combination of economic uncertainty,…