The Practice Group Director is responsible for working with the Practice Group Leaders to manage the business operations of the Practice Group. This position is responsible for delivering a high level of quality and service to the Practice Group. This person is proactive in balancing multiple work demands, taking personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of his/her work product and maintaining client and Firm confidentiality. The Practice Group Director maintains a professional demeanor and focus, and conducts himself/herself in a service-oriented manner. The person in this role is optimistic, self-assured, confident of his/her skills and abilities, has a “can-do” attitude, and seeks to maximize individual and team contributions.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Manage the administration of the Practice Group, allowing the Practice Group Leaders to focus on leading the Practice Group and practicing law.
- Develop relationships with all members of the Practice Group and communicate with them regularly to understand and keep current on their needs.
- Communicate and collaborate with office managers and heads of professional and support service departments as appropriate and necessary to meet the needs of all timekeepers in the Practice Group. Identify frictions in the delivery of services and advocate best practices to the Practice Group, office managers and heads of professional and support service departments.
- Support the Practice Group Leaders in the development and implementation of the Practice Group’s business strategy.
- Foster teamwork and a positive working and service environment for all involved in the Firm’s business or supporting those involved in the Firm’s business.
- Monitor and stay current on the Practice Group’s daily activities.
- Be available to troubleshoot and respond to business-related questions and the needs of Practice Group timekeepers, including staffing needs.
- Meet regularly with the Practice Group Leaders to discuss management of the Practice Group and implementation of strategic objectives.
- Maintain Practice Group files, records and directory.
- Serve on Practice Group committees.
- Perform special projects as requested by the Practice Group Leaders and other Firm Leaders.
- Produce metrics that measure performance of the Practice Group against agreed goals.
- Produce regular analysis on major client relationships.
- Review and approve billing and invoicing before issuance.
- Work with Practice Group Leadership on the production of the annual Practice Group Business Plan.
- Research best practice in delivery of Practice Group services and make practical recommendations for improvement.
- Collaborate fully with support services for the benefit of the Practice Group (e.g., Marketing, Pricing, IT).
- Assist with maintaining databases on deal work and prospects.
Practice Group Management and Administration
- Organize, schedule, set agendas and prepare for Practice Group meetings including luncheons, training sessions, Practice Group partner meetings, and retreats.
- Spearhead the development of a Practice Group knowledge management unit that includes internal communications, institutional knowledge and external communications.
- Review and analyze monthly financial and hours reports.
- Coordinate budgeting and business planning for the Practice Group.
- Work with the Management Committee on behalf of the Practice Group.
- Schedule and prepare for Practice Group orientations and retreats.
- Oversee the maintenance of vacation schedules for partners, associates and paralegals.
- Oversee the coordination of all library orders and software licenses for the Practice Group.
- Set up and oversee the assignment allocation process for associates, staff attorneys, project lawyers, and paralegals. If necessary, implement systems to accurately assess workloads, determine availability of timekeepers, and project business level activity.
- Work with the Practice Group Leaders, Director of Professional Development, and other administrators as necessary to address timekeeper performance and productivity issues.
- Maintain workload reports and project/matter assignment records.
- Ensure that lawyers and other timekeepers have essential resources necessary by working with the office managers and support service departments.
- Develop systems/tools to analyze the quality and profitability of Practice Group work.
- Coordinate efforts among offices and specialty groups within Practice Group.
Client Matter Management
- Facilitate accurate and prompt time entry, billing and collection activities by monitoring late time and financial reports, follow up with partners and staff, and reporting to the Practice Group Leaders.
- Track recorded hours for all timekeepers and partner financial performance.
- Ensure proper coordination of knowledge management activities such as the end of matter extraction, scrubbing and storage of documents.
- Confirm appropriate use of charge numbers and co-approve Travel &Entertainment forms and check requests for non-client billable expenses.
- Ensure appropriate processes are followed for management and resolution of conflicts arising out of new hires and new matters.
- Assist with development and maintenance of precedent documents.
Marketing Business Development
- Liaise with marketing managers and marketing personnel on all matters relating to marketing and sales for the Practice Group.
- Ensure that the Practice Group's business strategy is communicated consistently and that marketing product is uniform in style.
- Work with marketing managers to coordinate the submission of responses to RFPs and pitch books, and manage and resolve resource conflicts (by discussion with the Practice Group Leaders).
- Work with pricing department to coordinate the submission of pricing elements of responses to RFPs and pitch books, and manage and resolve resource conflicts (by discussion with the Practice Group Leaders).Assist marketing in the collection of hit rate data (RFPs requested, submitted, won, etc.).
- Work with Library personnel to coordinate research and information needs for the Practice Group’s marketing efforts.
- Create and administer an appropriate sales pipeline report.
- Liaise with marketing in the preparation of data for submission to ranking surveys and other similar reports.
- Work with marketing managers, Manager of Attorney Training, and the CLE and Training Coordinator in the arrangement and execution of client seminars.
- Liaise with marketing manager to update Practice Group attorneys’ bios on a regular basis.
- Assist marketing in the implementation of a client satisfaction program and schedule feedback meetings, ensuring appropriate client focused follow up.
- Coordinate pitches and teams.
- Encourage legal marketing initiatives by attorneys.
- Work closely with the Professional Development Department on all matters related to associate development including evaluation, training, and mentoring programs.
- Identify and be sensitive to associate morale issues; work with the Practice Group Leaders and the Professional Development Department to address, and support processes for associate retention.
- Coordinate initial integration of lateral hires into the Practice Group, including coordinating first day lunch and initial assignments.
- Create associate knowledge/experience bios to use in staffing and to update bios on the intranet and internet website.
- Keep attorneys informed regarding professional conferences and seminars and facilitates and implements legal education.
- Monitor attorney license, mandatory CLE compliance, and bar association registrations to ensure Practice Group attorneys are current.
- Work with the Manager of Attorney Training and the CLE and Training Coordinator to facilitate CLE approvals and obtain CLE evaluation forms.
- Work with the Director of Strategic Services on lateral partner hiring matters and with the Associate Hiring Committee on associate hiring matters.
- Facilitate an efficient hiring process for lateral partners and associates.
- Work closely with the Professional Recruitment Department on entry-level and lateral associate hiring matters including obtaining approvals, advertising positions, selecting candidates, scheduling interviews and making informed decisions on candidates.
- Work closely with the Professional Recruitment Department on hiring of staff attorneys and project lawyers.
- Coordinate Practice Group partner meetings; work with the Practice Group Leaders to prepare agendas.
- Coordinate the Practice Group's partner nomination process including the arrangement of the meetings and the preparation of all related materials.