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Chief Practice Management Officer

Boston, MA, USA | Leading Legal Services Company

  • Industry:
    Legal Services
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    Operations / Production
  • Experience:
    10-12 years
Job Description:
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As the Chief Practice Management Officer, you are a key trusted advisor to firm-wide Department Chairs and the Chief Operating Officer. You will direct the Firm's Department and Business Unit operational, strategic, and administrative functions. Collaborating with global leaders, Business Unit Leaders and regional office leaders, you ensure alignment between Department and Business Unit strategies and the firm’s global strategy. You guide project management, budgeting and resource planning, ensure efficient staffing, and promote engagement and connectivity across Business Units and Legal Practice Areas. Other critical areas that fall under your watch include performance management, pricing analysis, benchmarking, profitability, and retention strategies.

What you do: 

As the Chief Practice Management Officer, you think strategically. 

Partnering with Department Chairs and Business Unit leaders, you design and execute strategic plans. Your expertise in building networks allows you to leverage firm resources for maximum coloration and results, ensuring resources are used effectively and that all perspectives are carefully considered.

You monitor performance against strategic plans, assessing and pivoting when needed and keeping leaders apprised of progress.

As the Chief Practice Management Officer, you have a keen focus on financial performance: 

With financial acumen, you develop and monitor annual revenue and expense budgets for the Departments, working with each Business Unit and collaborating across offices.

Using performance metrics - including activity levels, realization, leverage, profitability, billing and collections- you illustrate financial performance to partners and leaders. You use data and metrics to identify issues or risks, and create plans to address them.

You keep Business Unit Leaders, the COO and senior management informed with monthly performance reports for the Departments. You closely monitor Department, Business Unit, Legal Practice Area, and related office client and partner profitability. You insightfully identify issues and work towards solving these issues through analysis and education.

You utilize profitability tools to counsel lawyers on client selection, matter management and staffing issues.

You hold regular meetings with all direct reports to ensure the department is working towards its strategic and functional objectives.

Partnering with Finance, you manage the billing and collections process for the Departments and each Business Unit.

You collaborate with Finance and the COO on collections projections and analyses throughout the year.

You are a leader in creating awareness around alternative fee arrangements.

As the Chief Practice Management Officer, you build high-performing teams, integrate and manage talent, and nurture potential. 

Collaborating with Business Unit Directors, you proactively identify attorney performance issues. Partnering with the Firm’s Chief Human Resources Officer or her team, you work to address those issues.

Working closely with the partners and the Professional Development & Training team, you identify professional development and training needs, ensuring training is provided on a Department, Business Unit and office basis.

You work closely with partners and Attorney Development Managers to ensure that the assignment process provides opportunities efficiently and fairly among associates and professional track attorneys, and ensure that that the distribution of work and the development needs of these attorneys are considered in making work assignments.

You work towards the successful transitioning out of departing partners and associates

You oversee the management of the paralegals, ensuring maximum economic benefit to the firm.

Working closely with firm leadership, you identify recruiting needs on a Department and Business Unit basis.

Along with talent acquisition team, you assist in the recruiting efforts and financial analyses of individual lateral partners, and you prepare needs analyses for associate and professional track attorney hires.

Working with senior partners and the talent acquisition team, you identify potential recruits and develop and execute lateral recruiting strategies.

Working with partners and Business Unit Directors you plan for the successful transitioning and integrating of newly hired lateral partners and associates/professional track attorneys.

As the Chief Practice Management Officer, you are on top of the latest technologies that support the changing practice of law and the demands of the market: 

You strive for process improvement, and consistently identify ways to serve our clients and run internal processes more effectively and efficiently. You drive an innovative and collaborative culture to best serve our clients and brand.

Partnering with the Firm’s Information Technology Department, you ensure the firm has the latest technological advancements, giving our attorneys a competitive advantage.

You actively monitor the market for best practices regarding innovation, knowledge management and use of technology, in particular, practices outside the legal market, e.g. other professional services organizations, companies and financial institutions.

You are an active participant in the management of adjunct groups and key projects, such as incubator programs and AI.

You oversee the intellectual property management function (Business Law).

You understand the importance of Knowledge Management, and ensure that KM adequately supports the needs of the attorneys.

Working with attorneys and the KM team, you develop and maintain KM systems including collaborative web-based tools, forms systems, deal databases, and portal pages.

As the Chief Practice Management Officer, you understand the impact of savvy business development, marketing and client relations efforts: 

You liaise between partners and the Business Development, marketing, and communications teams to expand business from specific client targets and raise awareness in the market.

You manage selected business development initiatives in concert with the Business Development team.

You collaborate with the marketing team on annual submissions to various trade publications.

Who you are: 

You are a highly experienced professional who has a BA, and adding on a JD or MBA is even better. For the past ten or more years, you’ve honed your skills in legal operations, holding leadership roles in organizations with a global reach. You have a keen focus on strategic planning and analysis, execution and results, combined with sharp critical thinking and consultative skill. Numbers and data are second nature; and managing budgets, financial management, project management and risk management are some of your top skills.

Working in a matrixed environment, gaining buy-in from partners and senior leaders, and driving change and transformation are part of a days’ work. You have the intellectual capacity, business acumen and solid judgment to allow you to excel in a complex, changing and sometimes ambiguous environment.

Your management and leadership skills encourage high-performing teams. Collaborating with your team and your peers is second nature to you. Your communication and interpersonal skills allow you to work effectively and diplomatically at all levels of the organization.

Last but not least, you are Goodwin. You value kindness, collaboration and respect. You take pride in your work and ours. You are a champion for diversity and inclusion. You have integrity and drive.

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