Law firms are increasingly turning to retreats to help solve their management problems, improve personal relationships and increase team spirit. But a retreat will not succeed unless adequate time and effort have gone into the planning process. A major portion of the work involved must be done before the retreat is actually held.

The retreat cannot be viewed as a panacea, but as a practical management tool. Its structure will be determined by what the firm wants to achieve. For example, the meeting might involve a review of the firm’s ability to take advantage of new trends and developments in major practice areas. Some firms may use the retreat as an opportunity to present their future goals and long-term strategic plans. Often, an economic crisis in the law firm dictates the agenda.

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