GAMMS UNLIMITED offers the Highlands’ Lawyer Report as an optional report designed specifically for practicing lawyers and current law students to help them identify work environments where they can apply their natural abilities in ways that feed their passions.
- law students, who need affirmation that the path to a JD is the right path;
- entry-level lawyers, who need confidence in handling their first assignments;
- lawyers moving between firms, who may need to redefine the scope of their practice;
- law firms and other organizations that need to select the best qualified Associates and Junior Partners for their business
According to a study conducted by Highlands Company, most law firms take 6-8 years to determine whether a lawyer has the temperament and the abilities to justify appointment to Partner. The process by which this decision is made should include an assessment of natural abilities and work-style. Because the Highlands Ability Battery identifies the natural talents a lawyer has and the areas in which she or he is likely to excel based on those talents, many law firms are beginning to incorporate the Battery into their decision-making processes. The investment made in identifying their skills and work styles more than pays for itself when law firms have a team of employees passionate about what they do and working in environments where they can use their innate talents to do your work.
Kathleen Brady, Principal of Brady & Associates Career Planners LLC confirmed that a law firm which can identify lawyers with different approaches to problem‐solving and which understands the value and limitations in each approach, will be more effective in staffing its teams, whether in client‐building, expanding a practice specialty, or in litigation.
First-, second-, and third-year law students need affirmation that the path to a JD is the right path for them. Savvy law schools incorporate the Battery as part of the career services offered to students, often during the second year of law school is the best time for the law student to re-evaluate their commitment, financial responsibilities and work-life balance. Experience shows that many law students are frustrated and unhappy when they confront the realities of legal education and work because the rewards they receive are lower than any other industry.”
GAMMS Unlimited uses the Highlands Ability Battery to provide personalized feedback to assist the law student to understand the challenges to meet the demanding schedule. The law students identify other options to explore and are well prepared for other professions.
Objective, comprehensive assessments of incoming-lawyers’ talents are often dismissed as an indulgent luxury, especially in today’s tough economic times. But this is precisely the time for law firms to make the most of their human resources by identifying the innate skills in their midst and using them effectively to achieve their business goals. With knowledge of their lawyers’ abilities, firms can be better equipped to assign work, build effective teams, improve communications, perfect client services, improve productivity, and increase income.
These programs are especially helpful among entry‐level lawyers fresh out of law school. How else can a law firm know what gifts and talents a new lawyer brings with him? An organized program built around an assessment will tell a firm not only what each lawyer knows and can do but also help the lawyer to understand their natural abilities when it comes to processing information, solving problems, making decisions, and communicating with others.
LAWYERS ON THE MOVE
It’s an everyday occurrence for a lawyer, or a group of lawyers, to move from one firm to another. Oftentimes, several lawyers follow a leader into a newly formed law firm. New firms can use the Highlands Ability Battery to inventory the teams’ skills and work styles to ensure they position the right people in the right situations to achieve the firm’s business goals. Some lawyers are happy in their work but some may be dissatisfied with the area of law they’ve chosen, making their move simply an escape from one un-motivating situation into another one.
In March 2013, Forbes reported on a “Career Bliss” survey of 65,000 employees that ranked “law firm associate” first on the list of “Unhappiest Jobs in America.” Likewise, in a recent Altman Weil Flash Survey, 40 percent of managing partners reported that partner morale at their firms in 2013 was lower than at the beginning of 2008 (pre-recession).
GAMMS Unlimited assists lawyers in understanding which abilities are natural and which are learned skills. The advantage of our clients understanding how to repurpose their abilities and degrees are to provide a competative advantage to explore other options and opportunities to leverage strengths.
ASSOCIATES & JUNIOR PARTNERS
Many law firms take up to 8 years to determine whether a lawyer has the qualities and abilities to justify appointment to partnership. But what if they make the wrong decision? What if she doesn’t have the skills to succeed as partner? The consequences of promoting a wrong person can ripple throughout the firm. The Highlands Ability Battery Lawyer Assessment provides firms with objective, comprehensive insight into the lawyer’s talents allowing for a more informed decision-making process that considers their natural abilities and work style.
GAMMS Unlimited helps individuals to understand if they are naturally an Introvert and Extrovert to enable them to thrive in different practice areas. Introverts are quiet and reflective. They like time to process information before announcing their thoughts. They turn naturally to more stable work environments. For this reason, they are better suited to a Tax or Trust & Estates practice than to M&A. Extroverts get their energy from external events and other people, so they generally like a faster‐paced environment. They tend to think “out loud” and enjoy lots of interaction, as well as variety in their tasks.
An Extrovert forced to sit in a library alone all day would be unhappy (and ultimately unsuccessful) just as an Introvert forced to interact with others all day would be unhappy. Yes, some people fall in the middle of the Introvert‐Extrovert scale and find they need a workplace that provides a combination of activities. Knowing your natural ability and where fall on these scales will enable you to manage your expectations and enables the firm to motivate associates with minimal effort. It will be instrumental in you selecting the work environment and firms to make the right practice assignments, assembling work teams, and building mentoring relationships.
In March 2013, Career Bliss survey conducted on the 10 Most Unhappiest Jobs stated, “Associate attorney is the unhappiest of all, with an index score of 2.89 out of 5. Associate attorneys stated they felt most unhappy with their company culture,” Golledge says. “In many cases, law firms are conducted in a structured environment that is heavily centered on billable hours. It may take several years for an associate attorney to rise to the rank of partner. People in this position rated the way they work and the rewards they receive lower than any other industry.”