A way to assess collaboration among your in-house lawyers

The law firm of Greenberg Traurig numbers 1,650 attorneys in 33 offices around the world. According to Smart Bus. Miami, Dec. 2006, Cesar Alvarez, the president and CEO of the fast-growing firm, places great value on collaboration among his partners. At year end, every partner answers a few questions on teamwork, such as ˜Who has helped you? Who has collaborated with you? And who has not collaborated with you?”

A general counsel could adopt the same technique, and could even quantify the results. For instance, “For each of the other ten lawyers in the department, please rank them on a scale from 1 to 5 in terms of their collaboration with you last year.” People follow the money, so if their bonus depends on collaboration, here is a way to measure that contribution (See my post of May 14, 2006 on the difference between communication and collaboration.).

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