Law Firms Struggle with New Paradigm: Successful Firms Embrace Corporate Model

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Recent changes in law firms have necessitated a new level of professionalism and competency of staff members. Advanced technical skills are the baseline for employees, and those that want to excel are also expected to actively develop in the areas of communication, accountability, and personal effectiveness. Employee Development Systems, Inc. is now offering Increasing Personal Effectiveness, a solution to law firms faced with the challenge of requiring higher productivity from their staff.

Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Developing core competencies in staff members has become one of the main challenges facing US law firms.

In recent years, law firms have been faced with new economic and business realities. The old model of the ‘institutionalized’ law firm wherein each lawyer takes turns managing the firm, is being trumped by the reality of changing attorney-client arrangements and the growing necessity of paying careful attention to support staff development. Many firms are learning that they are in need of an employee development plan just as much (and sometimes even more) than their corporate counterparts.

There is an onset of increased mergers, downsizing, and a new model of partnerships with like-minded businesses, in order to offer a variety of services to clients, who are looking for complete solutions versus simply the services of one or two attorneys. These include accounting services, project management support, temporary CEO assignments, and strategic business planning services, potentially all under the umbrella of one law firm.

The core challenges in making this transition include developing competencies in staff members that have not been previously addressed, such as taking personal responsibility for outcomes, learning successful communication tactics, finding new ways to handle conflict, paying attention to behavioral styles, and managing not only a single role in the firm, but also self-management with respect to the entire firm and long-term career planning.

Law firm employees are now being asked to interact and work successfully with a variety of professionals, and increase their personal effectiveness in order to help their firms make the transition to the new paradigm that offers a variety pack of services along with new and flexible arrangements.

Employee Development Systems, Inc. is now providing programs, such as Increasing Personal Effectiveness that help firms address the core issues they have encountered in these new situations, and shows all the law firm staff employees how to perform more effectively with each other and with outside communication.

Specifically, the Increasing Personal Effectiveness program is being utilized by law firms to successfully instruct employees in the importance of personal accountability, help them develop professional competencies, and develop an understanding of how behavior impacts personal and professional effectiveness, specifically in the legal setting.

About Employee Development Systems, Inc.
Employee Development Systems, Inc. is a Colorado-based professional development firm that was founded in 1979 and offers employee development, management development, leadership and professionalism courses and accompanying behavioral style assessments, surveys and other tools. Employee Development Systems, Inc. provides services worldwide to Fortune 500 clients as well as small to medium-sized businesses.

The organization’s mission is to enhance the interpersonal skills needed to perform at a more productive level, to develop a workforce that adapts to change, and is creative and innovative and to make the client organization the employer of choice. This is accomplished through establishing trust, building relationships and fostering behavioral change. Employee Development Systems, Inc. training and development initiatives address employee engagement, multiple generations in the workplace and the ramifications of social media and collaboration.

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Sherman Updegraff
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