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Is Well-Being Anathema To PPP?

Gordon Gecko said it-- and it does make for a good sound bite-- but "Greed is [not ] good". And law firm profitability need not be the metric of the day-- or the future.

Concededly, PPP ruled the day for a good long while, but the sun is setting on that metric as the standard by which law firms are measured. As far I'm concerned, the sun has already set, which is why-- in the twilight of PPP-- I was so surprised by an announcement I recently saw, promoting a conference addressing, "Law Firm Profitability".

Old habits die hard but die, they must. And the old habit of ranking law firms by their profits per partner, is dying. Two prominent analysts in the legal world wrote articles a few years ago titled, "Death to Profit Per Partner" and "Something's Gotta Give", decrying the PPP model. A third prominent law firm consultant wrote an article entitled. "If Not Profits Per Partner, What Is The Measure Of A High Performing Law Firm?". Well, I'll suggest the answer: Lawyer Well-Being!

Quoting directly from the referenced article, "It is widely acknowledged that happy professionals produce the highest quality work, and are more likely to stick with a firm during periods of stress and are central to the ability to recruit other professionals. Yet, notwithstanding the fact that HR handbooks and recruiting platitudes often speak of "our greatest resource" when talking about the people that comprise the firm, this "resource" is often forgotten when it comes to the metrics used to identify value. In fact, there are multiple ways to measure employee satisfaction.

"These include rate of turnover, rate of internal referrals and employee participation in "firm culture initiatives." Additional benchmarking can be accomplished through internal communication efforts, surveys and interviews. Whatever tools might be tapped, when professionals believe their input is valued and taken seriously, the results become quantifiable".

That's not to say that the importance of compensation--PPP-- will not continue to linger in the minds of some. None of us are that naïve. But the fact is that many lawyers--particularly younger generations--do care about more than just money. They work for personal dignity. They work for connection. They work to make the world a better, safer and healthier place.

To answer the question posed in the title of this post, the simple response is, "yes". Lawyer well-being is anathem to PPP--and our law firms should take increasing note of that fact!


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