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Lessons on Law Firm Management from Leaders Who Litigate

The AM Law Litigation Daily

In most business contexts, the word “leader” gets associated with being the boss. In law firms, where the business’s most valuable assets walk out the elevator banks each day (or, nowadays, possibly just log off their computers), leadership is more closely associated with listening and building consensus. Litigators, who make their living in the persuasion business, have a lot to offer on those fronts.


Martin said that anyone interested long-term in firm management should start by taking on smaller roles.

That’s the approach taken by Shawn Wright, a white-collar defense and investigations partner based in Washington, D.C., who was named the co-chair of the litigation department at Blank Rome at the beginning of the year. She previously served as a practice group leader, chair of the promotion committee, a member of the executive committee and partner board, and as the hiring partner and co-chair for the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. “These roles have provided me with an opportunity to understand how the firm works, develop my unique leadership skills, and build strong relationships with my colleagues,” Wright said.

Wright said that as a leader you have to think beyond yourself and focus on the greater good—even beyond the group, department, or office where you sit. “Sometimes that means stretching, being creative, or playing the long game with no immediate return,” Wright said. “Good leaders must be able to see and work for that bigger picture and long-term goals.”

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"Lessons on Law Firm Management from Leaders Who Litigate," by Ross Todd was published in The AM Law Litigation Daily on November 16, 2022.