Anyone else dreading the weekly internal partner “catch-up” calls/web-conferences where people go around the horn to talk about all of their new and glamorous work. I hope my partners really are getting great new substantial work (as it’s great for the whole partnership), but it’s really hard to tell how much is puffery/self-plugging and how much is legit. (We don’t have access to other partners hours/billings.)

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Many firms have these types of meetings to further business development efforts and to build connections with each other. It also allows others to know what the other members of the firm practices are, which helps their ability to identify additional work through their networks. (You would be surprised how few lawyers in the same firm actually know what the other lawyers actually do) As an associate I thought it was a great opportunity to go to that person and say I’ve always wanted to learn how to do a (describe case or work) or I would love to work on that client. Law practice is about building connections, and connections between the lawyers within your firm are as important as connections outside the firm. For practice management, we used to have these meetings so the managing partner could get a feeling of who may need additional help on matters they are working on. For my personal practice I liked these meetings because I was always very busy and it let me get to know my colleagues better. Often I would talk about what was going on in one of my cases and others would share valuable insight about how they handled similar situations or share knowledge about a recent case they just read about. This is a long winded way of saying I like these types of meetings. It builds a team environment.

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True. The self-promotion can get annoying though. How much should one humble brag?

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I find that I have a difficult time balancing the nuggets of utility (see Partner 1 comment) with the mind-numbing drudgery of self-promotion and/or inevitable side conversation of who has spoken to which client about what subject that has absolutely nothing to do with me or my practice. I am all for brainstorming and productive dialogue about new business and cross-referrals, but the all hands partners discussions are way more show than substance. We have a smaller, very informal, but also very unadvertised group of partners with whom we have extremely productive and strategic discussions. I find the small group more helpful to client development efforts and much less self-promoting.

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I am in a big firm and similar meetings are held at the office and practice group levels. I don’t naturally do it but there is a ton of self-promotion on the calls. Over time, since we ultimately see other partners’ performance at the end of the year, you learn to tell who talks a big game and who doesn’t.

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We are a small firm but have a weekly meeting with everyone in the firm (6 attorneys 2 staff) - everyone has an idea of what everyone else is working and it’s great to market each other’s practices. Then we feed everyone.

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I would DIE if I had to do that!

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There are pluses and minuses to the transparency. Transparency undoubtedly contributes to instability.

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Why the lack of transparency? At my firm, all equity and non-equity partners get a comprehensive monthly report of every each time keepers productivity.

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Agree completely, would much rather have the transparency. We get a report what everyone makes (salary + bonus). But, we can’t see other’s billable hours or client billings. So, no way to gauge how equitable the comp system is. International firm - decisions being made way above my pay grade.

Interesting. We are completely transparent in all aspects. All partners can view all attorney hours, receipts, client billings, etc. Even associates see all other associate numbers. But, aside from the three managers, we don’t meet much to talk business. I tend to like our arrangement. But I have only been with one firm so I can’t speak to others.

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