It’s that time of year again…time to start planning the law firm retreat. Valuable for both large and small firms, law firm retreats are tricky to plan and difficult to facilitate to ensure success. The web sites below offer some insights on the planning process and tips on facilitating a successful and productive retreat.
1. The Law Firm Retreat Blog provides insights, ideas, and practical tools that would be helpful to anyone tasked with planning a law firm retreat. Recent posts include “Don’t Do It Yourself,” which introduces a new eBook by Johnnie Moore and Viv McWaters that discusses the pitfalls of partners facilitating their own retreats. Other useful posts are: “Build Teams, Don’t Team Build,” “Cross-Selling Services in Firm Retreats,” and “Start from Scratch for Great Firm Retreats.” All of these articles, and other too numerous to list, can get your retreat planning off to a great start. You can find the Law Firm Retreat Blog at http://www.lexthinkllc.com/law-firm-retreat-blog/.
2. There are two articles on Edge International’s web site that that present a very thorough discussion about planning successful law firm retreats. The articles clearly lay out what does and doesn’t work at a retreat, based on Edge International’s experiences in participating, planning, and speaking at hundreds of law firm retreats. The articles address both internal and external retreats as well as retreats that include the annual firm meeting. They address retreat-related topics from speakers to spouses, issues that every retreat planner has had to deal with at one time or another. You can read both articles at http://www.edge.ai/Edge-International-1058638.html and http://www.edge.ai/Edge-International-1058640.html.
3. The words “fun” and “law firm retreat” don’t seem to belong in the same sentence, but the Findlaw blog presents an article entitled “5 Fun Law Firm Retreat Ideas Worth Trying.” Beer brewing as a retreat activity? Perhaps a meditation and digital detox retreat? Read about these ideas and more at http://blogs.findlaw.com/strategist/2013/06/5-fun-law-firm-retreat-ideas-worth-trying.html.
4. The web site lawfirmspeakers.com is a comprehensive Speakers Bureau designed exclusively for the legal profession. As such, it is an important resource for those of us responsible for planning firm retreats. The site provides information about some of the most popular law firm retreat programs and presentations that are available—all gathered in one place for easy review and comparison. You can find the information you need for your retreat at http://www.lawfirmspeakers.com/p/best-in-class-speakers-by-topics.html.
5. Revenue Wise, a legal consulting firm, presents several case studies on their web site that show how they have planned and executed successful law firm retreats. In their articles, they discuss the reason for the retreat, the planning process, and the results the law firm achieved. You can read these case studies at http://revenuewise.com/success-stories/law-firm-retreats/.
By Ellen Katkin, Director of Marketing, Gilbert LLP for the May/June 2014 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.