Choosing a leadership style for your law firm

March 1, 2018


To be successful over time, law firms must adapt to not only the needs of their clients, but also the environment and situations they find themselves in. So, does the leadership style of the firm need to adapt as well?

The style of leadership that will be most successful depends on the environment in which the leading is taking place. There are numerous leadership styles that have been identified or labelled in modern literature with six of the more prominent ones being:

  1. Situational: seen to be extremely flexible whose practitioners are constantly tweaking and making adjustments to meet current circumstances.


  1. Participative: continuous seeker of consensus which can cause some confusion as to who is leading and who is following.


  1. Transactional: intuitive negotiator who places heavy emphasis on the “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours” approach to leading.


  1. Charismatic: leadership based on the strength of their personality, not necessarily the strength of their ideas.


  1. Servant: leadership based on empowering others to take on increasingly visible and important roles.


  1. Transformational: leadership based on the strength of their ideas or vision and their belief of the possibility of the impossible.

There are several variables to consider when thinking about leadership in a law firm. How large is the firm?  What type of services does it offer? What stage of your law career are you in? Think about the current leadership at your law firm, is it working? My next post will cover the various types of leadership traits, and I will give my take on which style of leadership I think is best for the modern law firm.

Jordan Priest, Recruitment Associate