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About LawyerBrain

About LawyerBrain

LawyerBrain LLC is a consulting firm that specializes in helping AmLaw 100 law firms succeed by applying scientific principles to help improve the performance of your people. We study scientific advances in neuroscience, social psychology, positive psychology, leadership science, and a variety of other social science disciplines, and then translate it into practical, useable insights that actually work in a law firm context.

Founded by lawyer-psychologist Dr. Larry Richard, LawyerBrain helps firms with a variety of issues such as:

  • Serving as a trusted advisor to the senior leaders of top law firms
  • Helping firms to train and develop leaders (including a special program for your senior leadership team)
  • Helping firms to cope with change, uncertainty, and its consequences
  • Helping law firm leaders to get their lawyers to do what they're supposed to do
  • Repairing dysfunctional behavior, improving morale, and resolving conflict
  • Building employee engagement, and motivating your lawyers
  • Helping your lawyers to increase their mental toughness and psychological resilience
  • Helping your firm do a better job of attracting, selecting, hiring and retaining lawyers, especially those in the Millennial generation
  • Giving keynote addresses that are meaningful, motivating, memorable
  • Facilitating difficult conversations
  • Working with practice groups and client or industry teams to teach teamwork skills
  • Designing and implementing multi-rater feedback systems (upward evaluations, peer reviews, 360-degree feedback)
  • Administering and interpreting a wide variety of psychological assessments to help your lawyers improve their awareness and their performance (including measures of personality, values, strengths, styles, emotional intelligence, and other dimensions)
  • Helping firm leaders to gain psychological buy-in for change initiatives such as strategy implementation, new compensation systems, or post-merger situations
  • Providing confidential coaching to managing partners and other senior law firm leaders to improve psychological sophistication and overall leadership effectiveness
  • Helping law firms transition from "lockstep to levels"
  • Designing competency models so that you have a scientific basis for recruiting talent (Can also be used to develop your leaders)
  • Helping law firm General Counsels or Directors of Risk Management by applying the latest psychology research in the service of loss prevention

Clients often ask "What do you do?" Here are the most common types of things for which firms hire us:

  • Providing regular confidential advice to the managing partner or other members of the senior leadership team
  • Conducting workshops in your firm
  • Giving a presentation or a keynote at a firm retreat
  • Designing and helping you to execute a program that will improve lawyer performance (leadership, managing change, working in teams, doing a better job at selecting/hiring talent, etc.)
  • Working with your partners over a 2- to 4-month period to repair dysfunctional behavior
  • Working with star partners one-on-one to improve their performance

Law firms that hire LawyerBrain have a variety of interests and challenges. Here are a few of our recent assignments:

  • Help a firm that recently merged to design a new associate talent model, while building significant buy-in among the lawyers for the changes proposed
  • Use psychological testing to identify the key characteristics of the top performing lawyers at a mid-size firm, and develop a hiring protocol in order to find top talent who fit this unique firm’s culture
  • Coach the managing partner of an AmLaw 30 US firm. Coach the managing partner of a top 10 Lexpert firm in Canada.
  • Help 2 different law firms to repair dysfunctional behavior–in one, the litigation department has some internal dysfunction; in the other, one practice group is not getting along well with other groups
  • Design an upward evaluation multi-rater tool to provide feedback to partners, along with tailored coaching
  • Design and conduct a 6-month Action Learning leadership program for a mid-size firm to create a group of lawyers who can actually demonstrate superior leadership skills that can be measured
  • Design an interactive retreat presentation for a 200-partner firm retreat that is both educational and entertaining, and keeps the partners highly engaged for 4 hours
  • Provide advice to the leadership of an AmLaw 50 US firm on how to increase employee engagement
  • Develop a program using the latest “cognitive behavioral” strategies to teach lawyers how to be more Resilient in the face of stress, setbacks and uncertainty

About Dr. Larry Richard:

I earned my J.D. degree at University of Pennsylvania Law School, and then spent ten years as a trial lawyer. In the late 1980's, I left the active practice of law and transitioned to a new career as a psychologist. I earned a Ph.D. in Psychology at Temple University (1993). My doctoral research involved a nationwide study of over 3000 lawyers and their Myers-Briggs (MBTI) type preferences. Through this experience, I discovered the power of empirical personality research in understanding lawyers and helping them to reach their goals. I subsequently spent nearly 9 years at Altman Weil as a partner and consultant, and then 6 years at Hildebrandt International as the Chair of the Leadership & Organization Development practice. Since 1984, I’ve worked with over 750 law firms, helping management to improve lawyer performance.

My mission is to use personality science to help your firm thrive, to perform at a superior level, to make the most of what you’ve got, to help you maximize the talent you have, and get more like them.

Dr. Larry Richard
Founder and Principal Consultant
LawyerBrain LLC