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Hi all - as is typical in most law firms, I am both a manager and an individual contributor so I have responsibility both to my directs and clients. As a lawyer, there are also elements that simply cannot be delegated though I can undoubtedly find much more.

How do you balance both of these roles? Naturally, strategic priorities get demoted when the pressures of client demands rear their heads. I'm doing 3Os and weekly meetings and working on documented processes to increase delegation. My admin and I have both acknowledged that she was trained as a legal assistant which is about 99% legal training and 1% assistant training and that I've never been trained as a manager - so we're both open to improvement.

I did find the "Myth of the Working Manager" cast which was helpful! It doesn't quite hit the nail on the head vis-a-vis direct client service; the emphasis on individual work on projects that are exceptions rather than more standard is a good one but still runs up against some amount of economic issues given some regulatory limitations on delegation but I will probably focus on getting that figured out next quarter.

If anybody has any comparable experiences, please let me know!

I recently became a licensee after hearing Effective Executive Efficient Assistant because those show notes alone were worth the price of admission. :)

sbkeys's picture

Further to the above, I did find the "Myth of the Working Manager" cast which was helpful! It doesn't quite hit the nail on the head vis-a-vis direct client service; the emphasis on individual work on projects that are exceptions rather than more standard is a good one but still runs up against some amount of economic issues given some regulatory limitations on delegation but I will probably focus on getting that figured out next quarter.

If anybody has any comparable experiences, please let me know!

jrb3's picture

What I've found helpful is to dedicate time -- sacred blocks on my calendar -- specifically to my manager role.  The first hour of every workday is my default recommendation to others for this.  For each direct, sanctify 1-2 more hours per day.

Pretty much everywhere I've seen organizations with "working managers", the "management" gets short shrift unless actively focused upon.  And that's sad.  Even adding the first direct *if managed* is time-gain positive for the organization.

Rarely have I seen any amount of reliable productive work from a "working manager" with more than five directs.  Just not enough time to do good "work".

Jollymom's picture

In order to be an effective manager, you need to be able to lead your team in an efficient manner. You must learn how to communicate things with them and always remind them of your teams' goals. Some company practices a stand up meeting good for 10-15 minutes meeting everyday. Members of the team will voice out what are they currently working and problems encountered at the same time.