Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Clients Ask

Find out the answers

  1. Can you help us retain/engage/motivate our lawyers?
  2. One of our most senior leaders would like executive coaching – do you do that?
  3. We need a speaker for our next retreat who can deliver a keynote that is engaging, practical, and memorable – are you available?
  4. I understand that you use psychological testing to help firms do a better job of vetting lateral hires. How can I learn more?
  5. Our lawyers are struggling with mental health issues. Do you offer programs to help increase their well-being?
  6. Someone told me that you’re an expert in psychological resilience. Why are lawyers so low in resilience? What services do you offer to help them become more resilient?
  7. We’re all dealing with dramatically increasing levels of change, uncertainty, and stress. Do you help firms cope with these issues?
  8. One of our biggest rainmakers really needs coaching – Do you do that sort of thing?
  9. Leading groups of lawyers is not like other kinds of leadership. Do you offer any leadership training and coaching programs that are tailored just to lawyers?
  10. I hear that you’re an expert in psychological testing and the lawyer personality. How can I learn more about your services in this area?
  11. I understand that you’ve designed and implemented sophisticated upward evaluation and 360-degree assessment programs for some of the top AmLaw firms. How can I learn more about this service?
  12. We’re trying to get our lawyers to work effectively in teams. As an organizational psychologist, can you help us take our efforts to the next level?
  13. We need help resolving some internal conflict or dysfunctional behavior. Do you do that sort of thing?
  14. Someone told me that you’re a Gallup-certified coach. Do you teach strengths-based programs using the Gallup StrengthsFinder (now called the CliftonStrengths Assessment)?
  15. We want to teach our lawyer-leaders how to be more effective at how to successfully influence their constituents. I understand that you have a deep expertise in the psychology of influencing lawyers.
  16. We have a one-off challenge involving lawyer behavior. Do you do customized programs to help with unique issues?

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions

What do you do?

We provide consulting services to the leaders of leading AmLaw law firms as well as to the leadership teams of the legal departments of Fortune 500 companies. Services include keynotes and retreat presentations that get rave reviews; psychological testing and feedback; advising on lawyer well-being and resilience; advising on how to create a highly engaged workforce; coaching leaders; building teams; and designing custom upward evaluation and 360 feedback systems.

Do you work only with law firms? Or do you help lawyers in other settings? How about other businesses?

The majority of our work is for large law firms. However, we have also been consulted often by corporate law department leaders, bar associations, law schools, and some trade associations that serve the legal profession. Occasionally professionals in other fields have sought my services, including those in the fields of medicine, architecture, dentistry, education, and physical therapy. Most of the guidance that we provide to law firms involves my translating scientific principles of leadership, management, dealing with change, and talent management into practical steps that have been shown to work effectively in law firms. Some of these principles need no translation, and they will be applicable to professionals in any business.

Do you do keynote or retreat presentations?

Yes. We’ve delivered keynotes, presentations, workshops and seminars to over 150 law firms and other organizations. We are proud to say that we consistently get the highest ratings from our clients.

What kinds of "consulting" do you do? Can you give me some examples?

We provide a wide range of services to law firms, which you can find described here. By way of illustration, here are some of the services that we have provided recently:

  • Designed and implemented a comprehensive “upward evaluation” system in a large global law firm. Helped obtain buy-in from both partners and associates during the design and rollout of the program. Guided the professional development team during the implementation of the survey. And provided comprehensive coaching services to partners at the conclusion of the survey to help them make sense of their feedback and to use it to improve their performance.
  • Advised the leadership of 6 top law firms last year on how to understand Millennials–how to recruit and retain them, how to motivate them, how to deal with some of the challenges they pose. All of this guidance is based on published scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals, not on pop psychology.
  • Profiled the personality traits of over 80% of the partners at a leading law firm, and conducted a series of educational workshops to help them understand how to use this information to leverage their strengths and gain a competitive advantage over peer firms.
  • Helped several large firms conduct a scientific study of their best performers, and then helped them develop a scientifically validated competency model. The model then became the basis for talent selection, training & development, motivational strategies, evaluation, work assignments, and advancement within the firm.
  • Have helped dozens of law firms repair dysfunctional behavior and restore collegialtiy, trust and effective functioning. Many of these assignments began as a response to a crisis in the law firm–the departure of a significant partner or practice group; a visible rift between two practices; a rogue “big rainmaker” partner who inappropriately throws his weight around (these have all involved male partners so far), an internal rebellion by junior partners who felt they were not being paid their fair share, etc., etc. The task here is to first restore some trust; then repair the most important damage; then build agreement about new practices that will minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.
  • Have guided a half-dozen firms in understanding the psychology of risk management and loss prevention. Every risk that a law firm manages–or covers with professional liability insurance–begins with a psychological event. Most such events can be avoided or managed with the right know-how.
  • Have guided several AmLaw 50 firms on how to cope with the psychological consequences of continuous, exponential change.
  • Helped several firms to build the psychological resilience and mental toughness of their lawyers. Using scientific principles that have only recently emerged in the past ten years–principles that the U.S. Army is currently using to train all of its soldiers in these same skills–we have helped lawyers in these firms develop new skills and cognitive strategies that have been proven to raise resilience and build a more engaged workforce.
  • Helped a large firm with a national footprint by training its practice group leaders in the basic psychological principles of how to create high performing teams despite evidence that many lawyers are not normally very effective in working in teams.

Do you do therapy with problem partners?

Our founder, Dr. Larry Richard, is an organizational psychologist, not a clinical psychologist. We do not treat individuals clinically nor diagnose them.

When our clients ask us about such individuals, we try to refer them to one or more of the clinical psychologists with whom we work and who have experience in working with lawyers. Clinical conditions might include anger management, narcisissm, dementia, drug or alcohol abuse, aggressive personality (abusing associates, e.g.), and procrastination. By contrast, we do provide executive coaching services to individual lawyers where the goal is to improve workplace performance rather than to fix a clinically dysfunctional behavior. Most of these coaching assignments are with managing partners or senior leaders of law firms. We also have an extensive referral network of highly skilled professional coaches that we employ from time to time to help me conduct some of these coaching assignments at a more reasonable cost to the firm.

How do you charge for your services?

Our fee arrangements are very similar to those of most lawyers. For some projects we charge by the hour or per diem; for other assignments we charge by using a flat fee or a project cost. For any assignment, at the outset we will discuss the fee arrangements with you and will only proceed when we have agreed on a satisfactory arrangement.

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