A Cynical View of Law Firm Values (Edge International)

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I have been fond of saying that law firms often demonstrate as many different strategies as they have partners. It is a bit the same with values as these tend to be individually held rather than organisationally embedded. This is because our values comprise those unconscious, deeply held inner beliefs that we all hold as individuals, that we take for granted but that underpin our attitudes and behaviours. Not only is it difficult to define a law firm's shared values, it is equally problematic to make them relevant in every day life. And as for managing by reference to those values, just forget it unless you gravitate to many lawyer's hidden idol - the pursuit of money and the adoration of the billable hour. One problem of course is that law firms are very difficult to differentiate one from the other in many areas including the areas of values. It seems to be hard to be unique (in ways which clients and staff will find compelling) when it comes to describing the firm's culture and ethos.

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