Practice Development Counsel

Phyllis weiss haserot
Phyllis weiss haserot

President & Founder

212 593-1549

E-Tips: Multi-Generational Solutions Archives

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Trends We’d Like to See More Of – from The Rainmaking Machine

From the new edition of my book, THE RAINMAKING MACHINE (Thomson/West LegalWorks 2007 –, here is an excerpt from the “Trendwatching” chapter as this month's e-tip.


More diverse professional personnel, particularly the lawyers, will attract more clients as clients have become increasingly diverse themselves. We need to think in terms of all kinds of differences: gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, geography, economic class, occupation, practice specialties and personal style.

Inclusion of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints will produce more, fresh, creative ideas and solutions to client problems. An inclusionary attitude fosters collaboration. Crunch the numbers on retention and recruitment savings and client satisfaction and there is a solid business case. Look beyond the legal field for evidence.

Given past history, firms will only make significant strides on diversity if clients push and the media's spotlight becomes brighter and more frequent.


Succession planning is a business continuity requirement. Every firm wants to avoid surprises – and loss of important personnel can happen at any time. Yet firms have been lax with their succession planning, and it must go beyond senior management to plan for succession to all important positions.

With the leading edge Baby Boomers close to reaching traditional retirement age, transitioning planning is even more crucial than in the past to retain clients and institutional knowledge and assure that younger partners are prepared to take over desired responsibilities. (See

Succession and transitioning planning will result in better client management and retention.


Inclusion of attorneys on non-traditional career paths is another form of diversity. We are seeing more of this in the broader work universe, and it will grow as more people are expected to have multiple careers.

Attorneys with previous careers can bring to a firm maturity, expertise beyond legal skills, contacts and a strong work ethic. A career choice made after acquiring other experiences tends to be more informed and bring dedication. (The financial services have realized this.)

On- and off-ramping (leaving and returning to a career after some time out) results in flexibility and increased loyalty (less free agent mentality) from returning practitioners. To take advantage of the benefits, firms have to remove the stigmas and obstacles to career success for those who take a non-traditional path. Already the exodus of lawyers from the profession over recent years and the desire of many others to do so for a breather from the pace or an actual career change signals the need for firms to explore seriously alternatives to the one-size fits all approach to employment.

Please share your thoughts on these generational trends and observations.
As always, I encourage you to share your stories with me and my readers, if you wish.



© Phyllis Weiss Haserot, 2007. All rights reserved