Leading large organizations is hard. Being a new leader in a partnership is especially hard. Law firm strategist and management consultant Patrick McKenna offers an excellent short guide for new managing partners at law firms. 

McKenna’s First 100 Days is a step-by-step guide for new managing partners. This is a good read for BigLaw CIOs and technology managers who want to understand more about how law firms operate, especially when leadership changes. (The link is to an e-book of sorts; I found it hard to read on-screen, even on my 19″ monitor, so I had to print it.)

Though the guide is excellent, I was disappointed that McKenna did not suggest that a new managing partner spend time talking to staff. Fortunately, in the additional 10 pages of comments from current and former managing partners, many emphasize the importance of including staff in transition planning.

Law firms are less hierarchical than corporations but are caste systems – you’re either a lawyer or you’re not. This topic warrants a longer piece someday, but the bottom line is that the caste system is detrimental to lawyers, staff, and clients. BigLaw will be better off when it overcomes this pernicious mindset.