We have released a survey in which top law firm managing partners identify their most admired peers.
Over 60 law firm managing partners responded to the Edge survey, which asked them to identify which law firm leaders, from firms other than their own, they admired the most for their management and leadership competence. They were also asked what qualities made their selections admirable.
The survey concluded that Robert M. Dell, chairman and managing partner of the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP, is the most admired law firm leader, receiving 13% of the respondents’ total votes.
Regina M. Pisa, chair and managing partner of the law firm Goodwin Proctor LLP and Lee I. Miller, Firm joint chief executive officer of DLA Piper US LLP, tied for second place for respondent votes in the poll. Other firm leaders who rounded out the top ten most admired law firm leaders include: Ben F. Johnson III, of Alston & Bird LLP; Cesar L. Alvarez, of Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Bob Odle, of Hogan & Hartson LLP; Patrick McCartan of Jones Day; Ralph H. Baxter, Jr., of Orrick and Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; T. Kennedy Helm III of Stites & Harbision, PLLC; and Keith W. Vaughan of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP.
It is notable that Odle and McCartan were selected by those surveyed, as both have retired from their respective firms.
When asked what leadership and management qualities made their selection admirable, the most common responses included: a willingness to make change, promote ambitious agendas, the ability to handle tough issues and get people within the firm aligned, and a commitment to maintaining the core values of the firm.
According to Patrick McKenna, my Edge International partner who initiated the survey: “One of the interesting developments was that we heard from another dozen or so firm leaders, who took the time to send us e-mails apologizing that ‘they were not familiar with other managing partners’ or ‘didn’t know enough to identify anyone specific.’ I guess our profession is not yet rife with numerous well-recognized management role models, but this survey shows that we’re evolving.”