Brain Trust Legal

Law Firm Culture: Legal Conference Resources

Just as every person has a distinct and unique personality, so do all successful businesses, including law firms. In business, that personality is referred to as a company culture, and it’s becoming clearer every day that culture is a major driver of a company’s performance. Many law firms, especially ones that are small or started small, had no need to define the culture early on because it was reflected in the owner and modeled by the small number of team members. However, as a law firm team grows, defining a company culture is vital to establishing the long-term health and success of the business.

That’s why legal conferences and events like the ones put on by Brain Trust Legal can be a game changer for law firms looking to define and strengthen their corporate cultural identity. From inclusiveness policies to core values, there are many things a law firm owner can learn at events like these.

What are the Advantages of a Diverse and Inclusive Law Firm Culture?

The importance of inclusiveness and diversity in a law firm’s culture cannot be overstated. More than nearly any other business, law firms can and do take clients from literally every walk of life: every age, gender, financial bracket, relationship status, sexual orientation, and ability or disability applies to a potential client. When that is the case, having that same diversity of representation within your firm as already exists within your client base means that you have potential insight into someone else’s lived experience.

Diversity and inclusion is also important for making sure that problems and issues that face certain populations are made known to others who have never dealt with them. For instance: ever since the news story about a soap dispenser that couldn’t identify dark skin tones, there has been a conversation around diversity in the tech field. The technology was created and tested primarily by light-skinned people, so the blind spot was not seen until the product was already out for public consumption.

The same can be true for many aspects of your law firm: accessibility to areas of an office, programs that make it easier for the deaf and hard of hearing to participate in video conferencing, and flexible paid time off (PTO) structures for people with social disorders are all innovations that came about because diverse people within a workforce brought these concerns to light. Those issues and more could also be affecting your clients, and rather than wait until a client has to ask for an accommodation, having a diverse team will allow your firm to have the vision and knowledge to start making those changes first.


How to Retain Company Culture in a Rapidly Growing Law Firm

While all law firms should have a clearly defined company culture, it is arguably more important the larger a law firm grows. As more team members exist, there are more faces, more interactions with the public, and more opportunities for company culture to be seen and tested, so a clear culture is a necessity for a consistent public image. So how do you retain that culture with a law firm that is growing rapidly?

There are two elements that keep a company culture strong: effective hiring and consistent interaction. The first and most important part of keeping company culture strong is really focusing on getting the right people into the firm during the hiring process. This can take more time and effort, but it’s less expensive to take a little extra time on current hiring than it is to have to replace someone who wasn’t a proper culture fit.

The second element is the consistent interaction of the culture leaders of a law firm (usually the law firm owners and their higher-level hires) with all the team members. A constant presence provides two things that strengthen company culture: a visible example of how to embody the company culture, and a reminder for the accountability that comes with the position. Every team member should see culture reflected in their supervisors.

Who Should Have a Say in Law Firm Decisions About Company Culture?

While the final say regarding company culture remains with the owner of the firm, they should also be surrounded and supported by others who provide perspective and make suggestions. The question in that case becomes: who should those others be? Should everyone in a law firm have a say about company culture decisions?

A company is not a democracy, but it can benefit from the input of all of its team members. The way to make sure that suggestions and input don’t become demands and public discussion is to have a venue through which they reach an executive board or other group that can weigh the merits and consider whether suggestions and changes would ultimately be the best choice for the continued health and growth of the company’s culture. This ensures oversight of any changes, but allows for a “bottom up” approach to understanding the values of your team.

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Are Core Values and Company Culture the Same for a Law Firm?

While they are related, core values and company culture are not exactly the same thing. In essence, it can be easily summed up this way: company culture is the behavior and perception of the company, while the core values are the rules that steer that behavior.

For example, your law firm’s company culture might display the behavior of checking on current clients, providing them whatever they need to aid in their recovery. However, that behavior is likely guided by one of the firm’s core values such as “Constant Client Compassion.”

One is a definition of what your firm wants to be and strives for (your core values), and the other is the execution of that on a day-to-day basis (your company culture). They’re slightly different, but they absolutely work hand-in-hand.

How Can Legal Conferences Strengthen a Law Firm’s Culture?

The challenge of maintaining a consistently strong company culture in a world where societal and business expectations are constantly changing can be difficult. Priorities change, language shifts, and values grow to include new ideas; all of these things can impact your firm’s corporate culture in ways you could not expect or predict.

The power of Brain Trust Legal conferences and events is in the diversity of resources they provide: other firms of all sizes and backgrounds share their experiences, their plans, and most importantly, their successes and failures as they work to solidify their culture. You can learn more about our events here on the website, or by calling (855) 743-1636 from anywhere in the country to speak with a team member who can answer your questions.

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