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More than half of law firm managing partners and executive directors give their firms’ practice group performance an average or below average rating, according to a new survey by law firm consultancy Altman Weil Inc. and ALM Research. Over 40% of groups have no business plan and more than 60% have no group-marketing plan. In terms of marketing performance, fewer than 20% of firm leaders rated their groups as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ in their ability to market develop new business, and cross-sell other practices. Few practices groups are cohesive, with only a slightly more than one-third of groups meeting monthly. The survey also highlighted deficiencies in practice group leader training. “Practice groups are the key strategic business units of law firms, and truly effective groups can create a big competitive advantage for their firms,” said Altman principal Marci Krufka. “These survey results show that the field is wide open for law firms that are willing to train their practice leaders and give them the resources they need to succeed.” The online questionnaire was sent to managing partners and executive directors at 1,400 law firms this summer. Results were calculated from 127 responses.

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