When we use the term “productivity,” we should not mean in-house lawyers just churning out lots of work, but rather lawyers completing lots of important legal work. A good lawyer picks out the services that help the client the most. A competency of a good lawyer is the ability to identify and focus on priorities.
The topic of priorities has come up numerous times on this blog (See my posts of Dec. 22, 2006: prioritizing legal risks; Aug. 28, 2006: paired comparisons to analyze priorities; March 27, 2005: set priorities on management issues; March 10, 2005: Johns Manville’s priority grid; June 16, 2007: identify strategic priorities; and June 25, 2007 on status reports to clients as an aid to setting priorities.).
Core competencies focus on priorities (See my post of Oct. 6, 2006; and May 23, 2008: 12 references cited.). The broadest statement of the importance of recognizing priorities is that the skill is integral to thinking: to think is to decide and to decide is to set a priority.