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April 3, 2017

Publication
Cristina Gutierrez Shinnick

Executive director Tina Shinnick on lawyers as firm leaders

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Sugarman Rogers executive director Tina Shinnick recently authored an article for the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Massachusetts Lawyers Journal titled “Can you keep your opinion to yourself?” The piece talks about the differences between a lawyer’s role for a client and when acting as a firm leader, and the importance of facilitation in the latter role.

An excerpt:

Clients pay lawyers for their advice, counsel, guidance and their opinion. So, when is it important for a lawyer to not offer an opinion?

Lawyers as leaders and managers are tasked with setting a vision and course for their firm or organization. They are skilled at asking questions and leading discussions. They are good at probing for clarification and summarizing thoughts. They are organized and deadline-driven. But how good are they at facilitating?

Lawyer leaders sometimes find themselves in the role of facilitator, often with their lawyer peers inside their organizations. Managing partners are often in this role and most people might think they are the only ones called upon to facilitate. However, practice group and committee leaders may also find themselves in this unfamiliar territory. And it might actually be a bit uncomfortable for those trained to have an opinion and argue passionately in defense of it.

So, let’s consider what facilitating is not then we can explore what it is.

Read the full article in the March/April 2017 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Journal.

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