Attorneys and clients have made clear: Dysfunctional law firm teams are not working. Gone are the days when lawyers had to quietly endure poor management, poor planning, and all-around poor work dynamics. Growing pressure on lawyers to get more efficient and produce more value—and a welcome focus on lawyer wellbeing—means that law firms can no longer ignore their responsibility to cultivate better workplaces.
It is no secret that law firm lawyers consistently rank as among the least happy workers in the world. And team dynamics—how attorneys and other legal professionals work together—may be a bigger piece of that puzzle than you think. In study after study, researchers have found that the quality of our work relationships powerfully implicates productivity, work fulfillment, and wellbeing. In other words, our team relationships have a lot to do with how happy and productive we are.
The good news is that investing in healthy team practices pays off not just for attorneys, but for the firm, too. More good news: A growing body of research offers concrete tools for building better teams. This Article collects some of the most data-backed tools, explaining why they work and how they can best be deployed in the modern legal workplace.
This Article’s authors combine their expertise to bring an interdisciplinary approach to the legal teams problem. One author formerly practiced at several large law firms and now works extensively with legal organizations across the nation as a consultant and trainer. The other author brings his expertise in industrial-organization psychology, the study of scientifically based solutions to human problems in work and other organizational settings. The authors identify the principal problems facing law firm teams now and in the future, as well as simple, concrete solutions to make legal teams work better.
Regalia, Joe and Wallace, David
"Clients and Lawyers Unite: The Dysfunction of Law Firm Teams Needs a Cure,"
University of Dayton Law Review: Vol. 48:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udlr/vol48/iss2/3