Managing outliers: How to deal with both stars and underperforming partners


How a law firm handles and manages its outliers — both its stars and high performers at one end of the bell curve, and underperformers at the other end of the performance spectrum — becomes a key feature that helps to define firms both in terms of sound management practices and in terms of a culture of discipline (or anarchy).


We all know instances of star partners being treated as prima donna characters for whom special rules are applied and kid gloves donned to avoid the risk of defection. At the same time, we also know of serial underperformers being allowed to continue in partnership through continued reluctance to confront difficulties. There are also extreme examples of partners in difficulties being summarily ejected without much opportunity to rehabilitate.


We also know — almost without being told — that in the ideal firm, partners would be treated even-handedly, supported caringly, and managed rigorously (but not ruthlessly). My report seeks to get the bottom of how to achieve these worthy ends.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Edge International Consulting | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Edge International Consulting on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.